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Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's deputies meet challenge of patrolling paseos

Posted: July 13, 2013 5:17 p.m.
Updated: July 13, 2013 5:17 p.m.

Deputy Josh Dubin shows how a Sheriff's Station smart board is used to track individuals on paseos, which thread through 20 miles of the SCV. Signal photo by Jonathan Pobre

The man in a black hoodie smashed the glass of a car parked behind Granary Square in Valencia late one June morning, grabbing a purse inside and taking off on foot.

A witness alerted sheriff’s deputies, and as the purse thief headed down one of the paseos that thread through many Santa Clarita Valley neighborhoods, he may have figured he was home free.

The paseos offer pedestrians, cyclists, stoller-pushing moms, skateboarders and dog-walkers access to parks, businesses, other neighborhoods and some schools, as well as miles of open space.

But they also offer burglars and thieves easy access to backyards, a place to hide from sight and a convenient paved get-away not accessible to law enforcement cruisers or motorcycles.

Deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, however, have responded to the special law enforcement needs posed by the approximately 20 miles of paseos in the valley, says Deputy Josh Dubin.

“The paseos are very special to Santa Clarita — not a lot of cities have them,” he said Thursday. “Every city has its own challenges, and the paseos present their own challenges here.”

In the case of the purse thief, deputies were ready, Dubin said. A suspect was in custody 15 minutes after the crime occurred.

“We were able to use the smart board software to set up a perimeter right away,” Dubin said. “If I punch in the (light post) number I know exactly where you are on the paseo. Then we can guide patrol units.”

Specific to the problems posed by paseos, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has added two specialized tools to its crime-fighting arsenal — a three-wheeled stand-up Segway-like motorized vehicle called a T-3 Patroller and a “smart board,” which provides aerial monitoring coverage of the paseos on a 72-inch flat screen at the sheriff’s station.

Each of the light standards that line the paseos is marked with a number which, when relayed to station deputies coordinating crime response efforts, can be located on the “smart board” computer screen and used to quickly set up an effective police perimeter.

That’s how deputies caught up with the purse thief suspect, Dubin said.

“Sgt. (Darren) Harris started looking through the paseos,” Dubin said. “He then was able to detain the suspect at gunpoint.”

Deputies recovered $634 and the woman’s credit cards.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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