Despite the shelter in place order that was issued in mid-March, local police agencies are still dealing with their share of crime, though not as much as usual.
“Overall, we have seen a decrease in calls for service and crime in general,” said Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) Lieutenant Saskia Lagergren. “Specifically, we’ve seen a large decrease in theft. Commercial burglaries increased by a few between the month before the shelter-in-place and the time since we’ve been sheltered-in-place. However, we had just about the same number of commercial burglaries during the shelter-in-place as we did during the same time frame last year.”
According to city records, there were 21 commercial burglaries between March 17 and April 20 of this year. While that’s a slight uptick from month prior, there were 23 commercial burglaries in Santa Clara during the same time span last year.
There has also been a large decrease in thefts in Santa Clara during the shelter in place order, especially auto burglaries. There were 72 reported cases of auto burglary between March 17 and April 20 of this year, half of what was reported to the department in the month leading up to that time period. That number is also significantly down from the 293 auto burglaries that were reported during the same time period last year.
“We have also seen a good decrease in assaults pre-shelter-in-place versus post shelter-in-place, but have seen a small increase in domestic violence during that time frame,” said Lagergren. “However, domestic violence seemed to already be trending up when comparing this year’s number of cases to the same time frame last year.”
Lagergren says all of the numbers are preliminary and still need to be verified by the Department of Justice.
According to the site LexisNexis, Sunnyvale’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) has seen little change compared to the month leading up to the shelter in place order. In the month prior to the order, officers responded to 72 thefts and 20 motor vehicle thefts. In the time between March 17 and April 20 of this year, officers responded to 79 thefts and 20 motor vehicle thefts.
Data on LexisNexis shows that’s still a drastic change from the March 17 to April 20 of 2019, when officers responded to 175 thefts and 36 motor vehicle thefts.
Both departments report that officers remain healthy.
“We are at full staff and have many other officers ready to rotate into patrol if needed,” said Lagergren. “Officers are doing an excellent job adapting to the current environment. With the addition of PPE gear, officers may look a little different in appearance, but they continue to do all they can to provide quality service to the community.”