Crime Spike in Glendale Blamed on Early Prison Release

New stats released by the Glendale Police Department is putting blame on an uptick in crime on state lawmakers' decisions to pass to key pieces of legislation.

AB 109 went into effect in 2011. It takes some offenders out of prison and transfers them to county jails. In turn, county jails are forced to release nonviolent offenders on probation earlier than expected, but with probation supervision.

Proposition 47 went into effect in January and changes certain felony charges to misdemeanors, but Glendale Police say criminals are capitalizing on their change of charges and filing to get out of supervision. That's what the department believes is causing year-to-year increases in crime.

Violent and property crimes are up in Glendale by double digits this year compared with the same period last year.

Property crimes — including burglary and theft, is up 7 percent going from 1,583 for the first six months of last year to 1,693 in the same period this year.

Violent crimes this year so far are listed at 96 cases, up from 87 last year.

Police point the finger at the need for more resources after lawmakers approved AB109 in 2011 and Prop 47 this year.

"We had one incident where an individual was arrested three times in one week in the city of Glendale for shoplifting out of the Galleria," said Glendale police Sgt. Robert William. "That individual before Prop 47 would have been taken to jail, but now he's given a citation all three times and released."

The issue came up in Burbank last week as well after the beating of an elderly woman in her home, allegedly at the hands of a man released from jail early under AB109.

"I think it's ridiculous that we release people early when these kinds of things can be the outcome," said Burbank resident Steve Seekins.

Glendale police say they aren't asking lawmakers to change the laws, just for some help to cover costs on the streets to pick the criminals back up again.

"We're hoping a little more funding would help deploy more officers in task forces," Williams said. "That way they can have a broader range of who they're looking at."

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