Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Chief says crime down, residents still need to take precautions


Crime is down in Rancho Santa Fe, according to Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser’s annual report for 2015.

At the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s Feb. 4 meeting, Wellhouser said there were 16 burglaries, nine residential and seven commercial, compared to 23 cases in 2014 and 36 burglaries in 2012.

“From a standpoint of home break-ins, we are doing fairly well but we still could do better,” Wellhouser said.

He noted that in the case of residential burglaries, only 44 percent of the doors were locked. He said he can’t stress enough the importance of residents locking doors, closing windows, using exterior lighting and setting alarms.

There was an increase in injury collisions in the Covenant with 35 in 2015, up from 14 in 2014. The injury collisions included one fatality: On May 13 at 6 a.m., a 56-year-old man was killed when he veered off Via de la Valle near Via de Santa Fe and collided with a tree.

There were additionally 79 non-injury collisions and Wellhouser said the predominant factors in the 114 collisions was excessive speed, followed by right of way violations and inattention.

“It pays to slow down and pay attention,” Wellhouser said.

In 2015, the Patrol also drove 112,000 miles and conducted 35,900 vacation and security checks. The Patrol’s average response time to calls is six minutes and 22 seconds.

“We’re very proud of that, there’s not a lot of towns that have that kind of service level,” Wellhouser said.

In 2015, the Patrol handled 4,400 calls and they are already starting off 2016 on a busy note, according to Wellhouser. During the rain and wind storm last week, Wellhouser said the Patrol received 94 calls between Saturday to Monday morning when on average they take about 20 calls a weekend.

“I think about 90 percent of trees in the Ranch blew over,” Wellhouser joked. “Fortunately, my guys did a fantastic job and our dispatchers kept on top of it. I want to extend my thanks to my guys, Arnold (Keene)’s Association crews and the county roads folks for doing a phenomenal job.”

To request a security check or for more Rancho Santa Fe Patrol information, visit Contact Patrol dispatch at “(858) 756-4372.