A representative from the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that burglaries are on the rise in Saratoga. The number of residential burglaries is up year on year, they said, and increased from 53 incidents in 2011 to almost 60 just 12 months later. Commercial burglaries have also increased. In 2011 there were 13 of these crimes reported. That number jumped to 17 for 2012. A similar trend has also been seen for vehicular burglary. Deputies said approximately 46 were reported in 2011 whereas 51 reports were taken in 2012.
Some speculate the uptick in this type of crime relates to the state prisoner realignment program. Under that program non-serious non-sexual non-violent offenders have been transferred from state prisons to county jails in order to serve out the remainder of their sentences. This has placed large strains on local facilities, leading many low-level local offenders to be released from custody before their sentences have run out. It is too soon to correlate those releases to increased rates of crime against property, officials say, but they are keeping close tabs on the statistics.
Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department officials say it is not all bad news. The number of auto thefts has gone down in the past year, they said. At the same time, they have confirmed that incidents of vandalism have spiked. Three incidents were reportedly seen in 2011, while more than 30 of these types of crimes were reported just a year later. Forgery, identity theft and fraud are also on the rise, they said. Deputies have indicated they are are working closely with other law enforcement agencies in order to bring these levels back down. All types of crime are taken seriously, they said, and the collective goal is to make area streets safer for residents and their guests.