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Artesia Council Candidate Rene Trevino Claims Crime is Up in City, Sheriff’s Department Refutes His Numbers

BY BRIAN HEWS

Earlier this year, the city of Artesia reported tremendous progress and was “full speed ahead” on many projects that are having a positive impact inside the tiny southeast Los Angeles County community.

 For the past few years, the City has been compiling a list of accomplishments, and at the August 13th Council meeting, a newly revised four-page list was presented to City Council.

One of the eye-opening accomplishments was that crime had dropped 27 percent.  

“Frankly, there are many positive things happening in the city,” City Manager Bill Rawlings said at the meeting.

Not according to current City Council candidate Rene Trevino.

A controversial flyer, obtained by HMG-LCCN, was sent out by Trevino in the mail to Artesia voters this past week claiming that Artesia is horribly crime ridden.

In bold red all capitalized letters, the Trevino mailer claimed, “CRIME HAS RISEN 46% OVERALL IN ARTESIA.”

 

Rene Trevino flyer sent to Artesia residents in the mail claiming crime is on the rise in the City.

 

The mailer continued, “The Sheriff’s Dept. reports that Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, and Larceny Theft (Home/Vehicle) have increased in Artesia over 4 years.”

“There has been no serious response from our city council.”

The back of the flyer, once again in all capital letters, claimed, “CRIME IS ON THE RISE IN ARTESIA.”

The flyer claimed that Aggravated Assault was up 106%, Burglary up 68%, Rape up 200%, Robbery up 11%, and Home/Vehicle Theft (grand theft)  was up 30%.

After the mailer was sent out, several angry Artesia residents contacted HMG-LCCN offices questioning Trevino’s numbers and asking for clarification.

HMG-LCCN examined the LASD’s website statistics for Part 1 crimes, the same crimes that Trevino cited in his mailer as “on the rise.”

The statistics show:

2016 Part 1 crimes totaled 712,
2017 Part 1 crimes totaled 566, a decrease of 146 crimes, a drop of over 21%,
2018 Part 1 crime (projected) 396, a decrease of 170 crimes, a drop of 30%.

According to the Lakewood Sheriff’s Department, Part 1 crime is down 30% in Artesia for the first nine months of 2018, which would equate to 170 less crimes compared to 2017.

In a recent Oct. 23 interview on Radio TV Artesia, Lakewood Sheriff’s Commander Richard Harpham, a 32-year veteran of the force and the former Commander of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station, talked about the decrease in specific categories of Part 1 crimes and the reasons for the decrease.

In his mailer, Trevino stated, “There has been no serious response from our city council.”

Commander Harpham was direct and to the point in the video, “I would like to thank Mayor Sally Flowers, the entire City Council, City Manager Bill Rawlings, and the entire Public Safety Team for their leadership, dedication, and support; truly without their support, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today.”

“Overall Part 1 crime is down over 30% in the City for the first nine months of 2018, compared to nine months of 2017,” Harpham stated. 

Part 1 crimes include homicide, rape robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, grand theft auto, and arson.

Trevino’s flyer claimed that: 

Aggravated Assault up 106%,  Home/Vehicle Theft (grand theft) up 30%, Burglary up 68% , Rape up 200% , Robbery up 11%.

Harpham stated in the video, with Trevino’s statistics in parenthesis, that aggravated assault was down 38% (not up 106%), grand theft auto was down 41% (not up 30%) , and burglary was down 40% (not up 68%), compared to the same time last year.

Rape was up by 100% this year in the City,  going from one rape in 2017 to two in 2018. 

“One rape is too many,” said Harpham, “however in both instances the victim did know the assailant and one of the rapes was reported this year but actually occurred in 2014.”

There were four more robberies so far this year than in 2017 with Harpham attributing the increase to a “crime series” on Pioneer Blvd. earlier in the year.

“But the City once again stepped up and provided funding for extra patrols that included foot patrols along Pioneer and that has all but abated the problem. The City routinely provides overtime for crime-suppression cars, and I work closely with City Manager Bill Rawlings in a collaborative approach to public safety.”

See video click here, crime stats start at 1:35.

When contacted by HMG-LCCN for comment Trevino said, “crime has risen in Artesia over the last four years.  2018 is not complete so we cannot project or calculate a crime stat for this year. The change from 2013 to 2017 is up 46% according to the LASD Statistics for Part I Crimes.  Crime as a whole was lower in 2013 and 2014 …. It has risen and is still higher today than just four years ago.  As a whole crime today is still higher than it was at their lowest point.  Total Part I Crime Incidents in 2014 totaled 345 compared to 2017 when it was 566 incidents. The big picture is that crime has risen in Artesia over the last four years.  Look at the stats as a big picture.”

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