Monthly Archives: September 2012

Spike In Crime

For those that read my Report to the HOA Board this week you saw that at the end I asked that the Board ok an email blast to go out to the community regarding the spike in crime. This is not something we take lightly and this will only be the third time in seven years we’ve asked the Board to do this.

Take a look at this weeks’ crime map and you’ll see more dropped pins than a I normally do in a whole week in just the first two days. As of last week we were averaging 11.2 calls per week. On Monday and Tuesday of this week there were 14 calls logged in, not including two alarm calls.

The Nuts And Bolts Of Our Situation

Always call in suspicious activity.

If you think someone else will call it in, they are probably thinking the same thing.

Our numbers are out of balance

We’ve had two meetings this week with two different Lieutenants in the PCSO. There wasn’t anything new, we’ve heard it all before – nothing has changed. The PCSO is short on staff and San Tan Valley isn’t getting any smaller.

Our area of 83,000 plus people has 35 officers allocated to it. This may  sound like a lot but it’s not. They are working 12 hour shifts, 3 days on – 4 days off then visa-verse. Roughly 9 officers at any one time for 83000 people. And their 12 hour shift easily goes into 13-14 hours with paper work.  Most cities are staffed to have 2.5 officers per 1000 people. We are at 1 officer to roughly 2400 people.

How bad is it?

No one should be in full blown panic mode; we’ve seen this kind of increase before.

Every four weeks I add to a spread sheet that is cumulative. New numbers for all crime related calls are put in so we can see overall totals for the year, totals for that four week block and averages for the year up to the last entry. If you hit that link this may be easier to follow.

Going strictly by my numbers which the PCSO agrees with, between  August 13th September 9th we saw a 32% increase in Theft and a 35% increase in Criminal Damage (graffiti, damage to personal property, etc.). This is an increase relative to the Average Year To Date.

There was a marked increase to the PCSO for calls relating to Theft and Burglary starting the week of August 20th.  The numbers for the  four week block we’re in now (starting September 10th) will blow those other numbers away. Last week the average number of total calls per week was 11.2 for the year. On the first two days of this week (September 24 & 25) we had 14 total calls, not including the two alarm calls which I don’t add to the spreadsheet but to the crime map.

So what are we to do? The PCSO goes from call to call. Our HOA already contracts out with the Posse 3 or 4 nights a week for extra patrols. But here’s the kicker – there are a set of numbers I haven’t referenced yet. The calls from people reporting  Suspicious Activity, People or Vehicles remained flat. The crime calls increase, the suspicious activity calls do not.

Not enough people know about the increase in crime

Although I am happy that people are getting solid information from our various social media outlets, it’s still only a small fraction of the people in San Tan Heights.

If everyone reading this contacts the neighbors on either side of their house plus the one across the street, and those people do the same it would be a big help. The more people watching out the better. And ask them to put their coach and porch lights on at night, too. Got lights in the back yard? Put those on as well. These streets are dark and light is the last thing a criminal wants.

So that’s what we’re asking everyone to do. Help get the word out about this increase in crime.

Be a good witness but that’s it. We do NOT pursue or detain!

If you see a crime in progress call 911. If you see something suspicious call it in to the PCSO Non-Emergency number at 1.520.866.5111.

Be sure to be ready with the details of the situation. Make a note of:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Height
  • Hair Color
  • Clothing Description
  • Any other physical descriptions like tattoos
  • Location
  • Time of Day
  • License Plate Number
  • Car Description
  • Any thing else that sticks out

Crime Free Lease Addendum

Just when you thought I couldn’t get any wordier, I throw Crime Free Lease Addendum at ya. But what is it? It’s something we’ve done in the past and it works.

If you suspect illegal activity is occurring at a specific address let the PCSO know. But let us know as well in an email to STHCW@LIVE.COM. We don’t want to see any addresses flying over Facebook or Twitter.

What we then do is research the address to find out if it’s homeowner lived in or a rental property. Here’s the fun part; if it’s a rental we also check the tax status – rentals are taxed higher than homeowner occupied. If the tax status is incorrect we notify the Assessors Office of the discrepancy so Pinal County can get what it should in tax revenue.

We’ll work with the PCSO and if there is an arrest from that house we ask the HOA to send the landlord a Crime Free Lease Addendum and ask that the tenants sign it. It basically makes it easier for the landlord to get rid of tenants that break the law and they have to move out if there is another arrest.

FYI – we don’t use this for past due speeding tickets or stuff like that. Some dude wants to sell dope to your kid we’re all over that like flies at a zoo.