Fewer burglaries in Rancho Santa Fe last year compared to previous year, Patrol Chief reports

By Karen Billing

In 2013, Rancho Santa Fe saw a decease in burglaries from 2012, said RSF Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser in his annual report presented Feb. 6 to the RSF Association board.

In 2012 there were 30 residential burglaries and in 2013 that number went down to 22. There was also a small reduction in commercial burglaries, from six in 2012 to four in 2013.

“There was a reduction from the previous year but only 13 of the burglaries were forced entry, which is disappointing to me,” Wellhouser said. “I encourage people to lock your doors and set your alarms.”

Wellhouser said most crimes in the Ranch are opportunistic in nature and burglaries seem to go up or down every year depending on who’s in jail and who isn’t. He said he anticipates there might be an increase this year.

Traffic collisions in the Ranch remained the same at 104. Injury collisions went down slightly, from 26 in 2012 to 19 in 2013. The largest factor in the collisions was unsafe speeds, Wellhouser said.

“We actively work with CHP to target areas of concern in regards to traffic safety. This includes direction and support of enforcement units, both the regular beat units and supplemental overtime units,” Wellhouser said.

In 2013, the Patrol responded to 4,665 calls for service, representing a 16 percent increase from the previous year. The Patrol’s response time to all calls received was a little over six minutes.

The Patrol also drove more than 100,000 miles and conducted 37,700 security checks for members.

At the Feb. 6 meeting, the Association approved a $104,000 buy-in to the County’s Regional Communications System (RCS) for the RSF Patrol. The amount is not payable until the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The Patrol has been a user on the RCS since 1999. The RCS is currently undergoing an upgrade and each member of the RCS is required to pay their share of the cost. Because of the cost of the upgrade, the county is requiring early commitments from jurisdictions and agencies that are interested in participating.

The Patrol could still use the RCS as a non-member but there are significant benefits to being a member. Non-member users could be the first denied access to the RCS during emergencies or periods of high demand such as those encountered during the 2007 wildfires. Members also see a reduction in monthly usage fees; the cost savings over the life of the 20-year agreement could be approximately $99,000.

No payments are required until 2015 but there is a 15 percent late signing penalty for agreements after March 31.