Where Are the Burglaries in Altadena?

Residents of some neighborhoods have noticed multiple burglaries near their homes--but is there any one place that shows an unusual high rate of crime?

From time to time I receive an email, see an email or get a comment from a resident following a burglary on their block wondering if their neighborhood has an unusually high property crime rate compared to elsewhere in Altadena.

For example, following several recent burglaries in "The President Streets" neighborhood east of Allen Avenue and west of Altadena Boulevard, some have suggested that the area is being targeted.

I took the question to Lt. Duane Allen of the , and his view was that burglaries have been more or less evenly spread across the city and that there has not been an unusual concentration in the President Streets area.

I decided, however, that I wanted to see for myself, so I took a look at the Sheriff's Department data, which is available at the crimemapping.com website.

Six Months of Data

The system allows you to view data as far as 6 months back, giving us a viewing period of July 14 to Jan. 10.  And though other property crimes are no doubt of interest to readers, I decided to focus solely on burglaries as those seem to get people's attention the most (something about a person inside your home, I'm sure).

Here's what I found: East Altadena (defined here as east of Lake Avenue) did not show a higher concentration of burglaries as a whole during that period.  In fact, the opposite was true: there were 43 burglaries east of Lake, 69 west of Lake and 5 on Lake itself.

Highest Concentration of Burglaries

Crimemapping.com also has a tool that allows you to look within a radius of an address to see how much crime is near your home.  Using this tool--set at half a mile to give a focused look at individual neighborhoods--I found that there were 16 crimes within half a mile of the intersection of Roosevelt and Berendo and 20 crimes within half a mile of Crary and Harding, the lower part of the President Streets neighborhood.

I entered several other nearby intersections in eastern Altadena to try to reproduce that result and was unable to find another intersection with as many burglaries in a half-mile radius (the complete list of the ones I looked at is listed in the table below).

Interestingly, in West Altadena, many of the intersections I inputted also showed lower incidences of burglary than the President Streets radius.

However, there was one glaring exception: Looking at the map it appeared there was a high concentration of burglaries around the  I inputted Marengo and Calaveras into the radius tool and found a whooping 29 burglaries reported in a half-mile radius of that intersection.

Outside of that area in West Altadena, the burglaries immediately began to drop: There were 19 in a half-mile radius of the nearby Fair Oaks and Altadena intersection, and many of them were the same incidents within a half-mile of Marengo and Calaveras.  Within a half-mile of Lincoln and Ventura, the number dropped to 12, but jumped up to 19 at Harriet and Glenrose.

Comparing Neighborhoods

So while it appears the President Streets area may well be getting hit more frequently than anywhere else in East Altadena, it is not being targeted quite as much as at least one neighborhood in West Altadena.

The full list of intersections I put into the system are below, but, of course, it is not a complete picture.  Bear in mind also, that many of the below areas overlap, meaning some crimes would register in more than one half-mile radius.  Thus, adding up the figures will not provide an accurate picture of total burglaries in all of the listed areas.

For anyone who would like to try to find a more heavily concentrated area of burglaries or otherwise study the numbers, I've included instructions on how to reproduce my results below the table.

Intersection Number of Burglaries Half-Mile Radius Roosevelt and Berendo 16 Lake and Mariposa 11 Lincoln and Ventura 12 Lincoln and Loma Alta 4 Calaveras and Marengo 29 Fair Oaks and Altadena 19 New York and Hill 7 Harriet and Glenrose 19 New York and Allen 12 Altadena and Allen 6 New York at Altadena 12 Midwick at Glen Canyon 9 Harding at Crary 20

How to Reproduce Results

1) Go to crimemapping.com

2) Enter intersection

3) Set radius to "0.5 mile"

4) Under "Agencies" select crime only reported by the Sheriff's Department

5) Under "Crimes," hit "clear all" and then select the "Burglaries" icon, which is shown in the maps pictured to the right of this article.

6) Under "Dates," select from July 14 to Jan. 10.  Depending on when you do this, the data may have expired as it only goes six months back.

Laura Monteros January 11, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I believe the area near Marengo & Calaveras--or probably more exactly Marengo & Woodbury--has a high concentration of gang members and overlapping territory. Unconfirmed, but it's my understanding that removing the homes before Lincoln Crossings went in was partly to control crime. That area is close the the Pasadena border, there is a check-cashing place on Lincoln & Woodbury. There were several shootings on that corner in the past (I got caught in one), though I don't think recently. It's just an attractive area to criminals. The concentration further north (near Calaveras) makes sense because that's the first line of homes north of Mountain View.
lonnie fehr January 11, 2012 at 06:23 PM
michele Zack January 11, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Thank you Dan, for doing this investigative work. Very interesting that the Sheriff didn't have a handle on this particular concentration of crime. The statistic is extremely concerning because so much of this area is not residential, but Mountain View itself covers 8 or 9? acres. That means these crimes are actually taking place in an very concentrated area. I wonder if this open space itself is used as a refuge or getaway area?
Dan Abendschein January 11, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Hey michele - Thanks... I actually spoke with Lt. Allen this morning and he said he is going to pull some more numbers for up to a year back to look at the details. He said he thinks the Mountain View area stuff may have been a concentrated burst and recalls there was an arrest or arrests linked to crime in the area. I did take a look at the last month's worth of a data and found that Mountain View had just one, so the crime there has not been recent. I also remember there were a couple of other incidents around Mountain View last Spring, including the one shooting, and then later a party that the Sheriff's broke up which resulted in someone getting tasered. Could all be related, at least to some extent.
Lisa Hastings January 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM
@ Laura. Plus you have the sketchy streets of Raymond Lane/Woodbury where they dump the sofas next to the cemetery, Sacramento Street, parts of Alameda between Lake and El Molino, and El Molino/Colman near the Scripps Home vacant lot. It looks to me like its just more convenient for the criminals to burglarize close to home.


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