Crime stats in Ranch rise in ’08

RANCHO SANTA FE — Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser presented the Annual Report of the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol to the Association’s board of directors on Feb. 18. In a letter to the board, Wellhouser stated, “Over the past year, we have seen an increase in criminal activity in the village. We are addressing the issue with shift adjustments and working with the Sheriff’s Department. We will be closely monitoring the activity there.”
At the top of the list of crimes was the recent bank robbery at Bank of America; an attempted murder involving a fight between a husband and wife; and auto theft. “Most of the crimes are opportunistic in nature,” Wellhouser said.
While criminal activity was slightly on the rise, vehicle collisions decreased from 129 to 104 in the past year. Wellhouser said that the average response time of 5 minutes and 34 seconds for any incidents was “pretty darn fast. After all, we still have to drive there.”
“Rancho Santa Fe has the lowest crime rate in North County,” Wellhouser said of the overall picture. “But having the lowest crime rate can sometimes be a detriment because we (the people in the Covenant) drop our guard.” Wellhouser said that because crime is low, people often forget to set their alarms or lock their houses or cars when they leave. This, in turn, opens the door for crimes of opportunity.
The Rancho Santa Fe Patrol was formed in 1976 and works closely with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol. Both the county and CHP have storefront office space within the patrol office, allowing the teams to work together.
“Thank you for the good work of the patrol,” Directory Bill Beckham said after the report was submitted. “The team is always very professional and courteous.”

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