Covenant residential burglaries up in 2017

Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser.

RANCHO SANTA FE — The data has changed when it comes comparing annual burglary incidences in Rancho Santa Fe. According to Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser, burglary numbers jumped from 16 in 2016 to 26 in 2017. The 2017 breakdown includes seven vehicle break-ins, four commercial robberies and 15 residential burglaries.

“Most crimes are opportunistic in nature,” he said. “People park their unlocked cars, they come out, and things are gone.” He added that laptops and wallets have been stolen from vehicles.

Wellhouser reminded Covenant residents to defend their homes and vehicles by locking them up and setting alarms.    

While there was an increase in residential burglaries, petty and grand theft decreased and calls for service dropped by 99 calls from 2016. The average response time for Rancho Santa Fe Patrol calls was 6.43 minutes.

Wellhouser wanted everyone to know that approximately 12 percent of the calls stemmed from residential alarms and most were false.

He said homeowners make the decision with their alarm company on who to notify if their alarm goes off.

“A lot of times, we get the first call, so the alarm company knows to notify us,” Wellhouser said. “My guys are trained to do a little more than average patrol officers.”

Association board President Fred Wasserman commended the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol for doing a great job. Recently, Wasserman got a call from the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol that his home alarm went off — the cause was heavy wind that popped open a window.

“When they (the patrol) called me it was very comforting,” Wasserman said.

Wellhouser also noted in his annual report that traffic collisions had revealed an uptick in 2017. 

“There were 40 injury collisions — up by 16 since 2016,” he said. “There were 73 non-injury collisions, which were up by eight from 2016.”

The traffic collision spike from 2016 is in direct correlation to excessive speeding, Wellhouser believed.

Wellhouser ended his report by sharing that the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol conducted 35,000 vacation checks and that his officers drove 106,000 miles in 2017.

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