December 2, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Despite String of High-Profile Incidents Santa Monica Police say Crime is Down

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud releases crime update

By Sam Catanzaro

Over the past month a string of high-profile incidents in Santa Monica, including an armed bank robbery in broad daylight, have generated buzz — both literally from news and police helicopters and metaphorically in the media — but the chief of police says crime in the city is down, though acknowledges a disconnect among some residents in perception of crime and safety.

According to Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) Chief Cynthia Renaud, year to date, Santa Monica is experiencing a 15 percent decrease in Part 1 crimes, which include homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft.

“We have not seen a decrease like this in a few years,” Renaud said. “We are seeing a significant decrease in car break-ins and assaults which are areas that we typically see the most crime. For car break-ins, we are seeing a 17.5 percent decrease, down by 120 incidents from last year in downtown alone. The busiest parking structures are seeing reductions in criminal activity, which can be attributed to a few new changes we imposed, such as private security patrols and an intensified focus on our crime suppression missions.”

In the past two months, Santa Monica has experienced a string of high-profile incidents that attracted media coverage and news helicopters.

On August 15 three minors and an adult were arrested for attempting to rob a Santa Monica jewelry store armed with a sledgehammer. On August 16, a man who attempted to rob a Brinks armored car was non-fatally shot by a security guard.

On September 10, an armed, masked robber stole between $3,000 and $5,000 from a Wells Fargo bank on Montana Avenue in broad daylight and eluded a massive manhunt. The same day, in a separate incident, a burglar led police on a foot chase from Venice to the Santa Monica Pier along the beach. On September 12 a suspected burglar was non-fatally shot by SMPD officers at the culmination of a K-9 assisted search. On September 16 a suspicious package resembling a pressure-cooker was found on the Third Street Promenade, shutting down the popular shopping destination for several hours. On September 20 the Santa Monica police utilized K-9 and SWAT officers to detain a man who barricaded himself behind a dumpster with a firearm, which later turned out to be an airsoft rifle. On September 22 another suspicious package was found near the Third Street Promenade, briefly shutting down nearby streets. On October 3 a suspected armed robber escaped a manhunt in Santa Monica’s North of Montana neighborhood.

“In the last month, Santa Monica has experienced a handful of unique and high-profile incidents that attracted media coverage and news helicopters. I understand how that may cause some to feel unsafe. I want to reassure when crimes occur you have an extremely professional and highly trained police force working to keep you safe every day,” Renaud said. “The City of Santa Monica is unique in that we are a small city with a big city feel and we have appeal and draw for everyone.”

After Renaud’s crime update was released many community members on social media accused the SMPD of suppressing crime numbers by encouraging the public to not report crimes, allegations Renaud dismissed.

“I’m sorry to hear about those comments on social media. No, we are not suppressing crime numbers. No, we are not asking or encouraging citizens to not report crimes. Our Part I crimes are down in all categories. And while that may be the factual truth, I fully understand that the Police Department is responsible for crime and safety, as well as the perception of crime and safety. The first is much easier to tackle than the second, but we are working on both,” Renaud said.

“I fully understand that the Police Department is responsible for crime and safety, as well as the perception of crime and safety. The first is much easier to tackle than the second, but we are working on both.”

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud

In addition, Renaud pointed to the issue of assaults as an area in where the SMPD could improve in.

“As your Police Chief, I am always concerned with the crime of assault and I know that it does not convey a feeling of safety in our community when assaults occur,” Renaud said. “We recently hired 20 more officers to our workforce and we are working to reach our full staffing numbers. This means there are more police units out on the street to continue with our crime-fighting efforts and commitment to community outreach.”

Related Posts

Santa Monica Police Make Narcotics and Weapons Arrest Following Collision

December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

One suspect remains at large following November 28 incident By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police recently arrested a man on...

Private Santa Monica Security Guard Thwarts Potential Flash Mob Robbery

December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

SMPD on the alert after flash mob robberies hit Los Angeles By Dolores Quintana In response to the so called...

Pico Branch Library Reopens Today

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Library reopens for in-person services and more By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Public Library’s Pico Branch reopens today for...

Two Santa Monica Public Gigs for Local Group the Off Jingle Bell Rockers

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

December 4 and 12 Santa Monica concerts By Staff Writer Local group…the Off Jingle Bell Rockers will be performing once...

Santa Monica City Councilmember’s Music Store Robbed for the Second Time This Year

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

September and November robberies at Santa Monica Music Center By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica City Councilmember Laura Negrete is co-owner...

Santa Monica to Become Part of New LA County Supervisorial District

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

LA County Redistricting to be handled by independent commission By Dolores Quintana The City of Santa Monica will become part...

Return Of International Travel Could Boost Local Economy: Santa Monica Beat – November 30, 2021

November 29, 2021

November 29, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Calvary Church Nativity Scene Returns For The Holidays* Return Of International Travel...

Santa Monica Homeless Count Returns

November 23, 2021

November 23, 2021

January 26, 2022 date for annual count By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Homeless Count is back after being canceled...

Petition To Divide SMMUSD On Its Way To County Officials: Santa Monica Beat – November 22, 2021

November 22, 2021

November 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* New Art Installation Pop Up Event Coming To Ocean Avenue * Petition To...

New Study Finds 1 in 5 Tweens Experience Cyberbullying

November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

According to a recent study by the Cyberbullying Research center over 20% of tweens, aged 9 – 12 have experienced...

Veterans Demand Answers to Homeless Crisis Outside Ted Lieu’s West LA Office

November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

Veterans took to the streets and marched from the West LA VA campus to the office of Ted Lieu, seeking...

Settlement Reached in Police Union Lawsuit Against the City of Santa Monica

November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

Santa Monica Police Officers Association settles with City By Dolores Quintana The Santa Monica Police Officers Association (SMPOA) recently settled...

Victim Robbed in Broad Daylight, Shot at, After Parking Car in Santa Monica

November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

Santa Monica police search for suspects in connection to November 15 incident By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are searching...

No Arrests Made in Chess Park Airsoft Gun Incident

November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

No victims of criminal threats, Santa Monica police say By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police say no arrests were made...