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Crime numbers down in Fallbrook command
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Issue 51, Volume 17.
"Violent crime is down 25 percent in the Fallbrook area in the first 10 months, compared to the same time period last year," said Lt. Todd Richardson, commander of the Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation. Violent crimes include aggravated assault (down 29.1 percent), robbery (down 33.3 percent), rape (down 30 percent), and homicide (no change).
Property crimes show a 13.3 percent decrease. "That includes vehicle theft (down 31 percent), theft/general (down 14 percent), and burglary (down 6 percent)," said Richardson.
This news comes on the heels of information released earlier that Fallbrook was one of only two unincorporated communities in the county that experienced a decrease in crime in 2012.
"Our deputies and detectives are doing some good stuff," said Richardson.
One of crime categories most difficult to achieve success in reducing is aggravated assault.
"That’s because domestic violence is the culprit in most cases," he said. "We wish more people involved in these cases would get counseling."
The Targeting Known Offender (TKO) program has definitely paid off for Fallbrook, Richardson said.
"Making frequent visits to known offenders has made a positive difference in local crime," he explained. "Our deputies have been doing a great job stepping up and using information-led policing tactics; they’ve been very successful. We are fortunate because Fallbrook is a gem and our substation operation allows for small teams that are very cohesive."
Unfortunately, the recidivism rate of lawbreakers statewide is a distinct problem.
"Sadly, it is over 80 percent; it’s one thing to try and rehabilitate criminals, but unfortunately certain aspects of the system just don’t work," explained Richardson. "Over 80 percent of the contacts police make are with the same two- to three-percent of the population."
Something that can and does make a big difference in reducing crime locally is citizens that are proactive about reducing their chance of becoming a victim.
"Citizens can definitely make a difference in their likelihood of becoming a victim of crime," said Richardson. "Currently, 50 to 60 percent of all theft from vehicles and residences are because doors and windows are left open and the thief has very easy access."
Richardson would like to see Fallbrook citizens be especially proactive in the holiday season, as temptation runs very high for thieves this time of year.
"We always experience a seasonal increase in crime; it’s worse in the downtown area of Fallbrook," he said. "The reason for that is because it is a concentrated shopping area. It is generally safe, but opportunity for theft presents itself by the volume of visitors in the shopping centers. It’s easier for a thief to wander around unnoticed."
Richardson said in many cases a thief will wander up and down shopping center parking lot aisles, casually trying doors of vehicles as he or she passes to see if any are unlocked.
"I guarantee that if one vehicle is locked and the one next to it is unlocked, the person with the unlocked vehicle will end up being the victim," he noted.
A DUI checkpoint will also be launched in the Fallbrook area soon.
"The Sheriff’s Dept. will be doing one in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol during the holidays," said Richardson. "Our officers are also keeping an active eye out for DUI drivers in general. In this area, we usually have about 30 DUI (alcohol or drug influence) arrests per month. In October we had 39; in November, 28."
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