Serious crimes are down 14 percent in San Juan Capistrano, according to Lt. John Meyer, chief of police services for the city.
Meyer provided figures for what’s known as “Part 1” crimes: homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft. Overall, there were 496 of these types of crimes in 2013, down 82 from 2012.
“I attribute this decline to the hard proactive work of the police services staff coupled with the crime prevention outreach to the residents,” Meyer said.
While there were no homicides in either year, in 2012, there were three rapes reported, according to the statistics Meyer provided. In 2013, there were no rapes.
Two of the three “theft” categories saw decreases. Auto thefts dropped from 37 in 2012 to 22 in 2013, down 40 percent, according to the stats. Larceny, that is, personal theft, was down 20 percent, from 380 to 302.
Meanwhile, there was a 12 percent increase in burglaries, rising from 102 in 2012 to 115 last year.
“I believe people are starting to get the message about locking their doors (home and vehicle) and keeping valuables out of sight,” Meyer said.
He’s also seen an increase in residents participating in neighborhood watch programs.
“Taking ownership of ones’ neighborhood is the foundation of crime prevention, represents the first line of defense against crime, and is the most effective way that residents can help law enforcement,” Meyer said.