Alarm calls drop in Rancho Santa Fe

RANCHO SANTA FE — Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser provided the RSF board of directors and members a semiannual snapshot of crime and other activities in the Ranch.

For the first half of the year, the RSF Patrol received 2,000 calls. Wellhouser clarified that those were radio calls in addition to calls they themselves have generated by riding and patrolling the community.

From this number, the RSF Patrol had received 274 alarm calls — a decline from previous years.

Wellhouser shared that he believes this has dropped because of two things: County alarm ordinances and false-alarm regulations in the Association have been enacted.

“So those are preventable calls where you have someone set off their alarm accidentally,” Wellhouser said. “I’m sure many people here have had that experience, but that’s a call we can avoid.”

Wellhouser said this decline could help reduce costs and free up their officers to do other things.

“So that number keeps dropping, and that’s a good thing,” he said. “The not so good is we’ve had 10 burglaries so far this year, eight of them in residential and two were vehicle burglaries.”

According to Wellhouser, vehicle burglaries throughout the coastal San Diego area have increased over the last few months. Other areas mentioned were Encinitas, Del Mar, and Solana Beach. Wellhouser said they meet with the Sheriff on a regular basis to discuss crime trends and crime activity. This helps the RSF Patrol stay aware.

He went on to encourage those in attendance to lock their cars, lock their homes, and turn on their alarm systems.

“Use what you have. It’s a big deterrent because a lot of our crime is opportunistic, simple things like that will send the guy next door or down the street,” he said.

Wellhouser added, “Good for you, not so good for your neighbor, but it’s a way to deter crime.”

Wellhouser also somberly noted in the report the June 27 double homicide and suicide on Via de la Valle. A teenager was one of the victims.

When discussing traffic, Wellhouser shared a drop in collisions from 110 in 2015 to 82 in the 2016 semiannual report. While speeding is the primary cause of traffic collisions, the RSF Patrol partners with the California Highway Patrol in ways to reduce this. Having visible patrol cars help in the effort.

“The last thing I want to mention is one of the biggest things we do and that is security checks for homeowners when residents are on vacation or for any other reason,” he said.  “We have done over 18,000 security checks the first six months of the year. And that’s becoming more and more of a popular service and we don’t charge anything extra for that.  It comes with your Association membership.”

Wellhouser wanted the board and members to know that they can call any time for a security check.

“It’s no problem for us,” he said.

As Wellhouser noted, security checks for homeowners have become one of the most popular services they provide.

They did more than 18,000 security checks for homeowners who were on vacation or away from their home in the first six months of the year, topping out at 3,666 in the month of June. To request a vacation check, visit rsfpatrol.blogspot.com.

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