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Break-In Alert

On April 28 (Thursday) Two homeowners in the 2200 block of Brigden Road came home about 5 p.m. to find their houses broken into and ransacked.

A witness said it appeared two young girls were going door-to-door to see if anyone was home.  They rang the doorbell and stayed around longer than someone might have if it was apparent no one was home.

The homes were later broken into. The thieves stayed in the houses quite awhile. Jewelry was taken. Drawers were taken out and the contents scattered throughout the houses. Shaving cream and glue were used to ruin laptops. Paint was sprayed throughout the houses and on big screens. In one house, the thieves used a kitchen knife to rip apart all the upholstered furniture.  Knives were stuck into the walls.

Both houses appear to have been broken into at a rear window using a screw driver.

At one house, clues were left that may lead to the burglars.

The police theorize that the thieves are not from this area, but were looking for opportunities.

It should be noted that seems to be a pattern in the string of houses where the burglaries occurred — one house with a dog outside but no car in the driveway; one without a dog or car in the driveway — broken into; a house with a dog and car; a house with a car in the driveway; a house with no car but a dog outside; a house without a dog or car in drive — broken into.

Burglars don’t want to chance breaking into a house with a car in the drive, or a barking dog.

The police also recommend considering alarm systems.  Again, thieves don’t want to take a chance.

The poor economy is forcing more people to steal.

A reminder:  If you see someone like the two girls mentioned, PLEASE get involved.  Call the police non-emergency number immediately.  If this had been done, perhaps these burglaries could have been avoided.

We must watch out for our neighbors or we may come home to find the mess and thousands of dollars worth of damage that happened today.

Donn Dufford

Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Assn.

We had a residential burglary in Brigden Ranch on March 8, 2011.

A house in the 2200 block of Woodlyn near Martelo was broken into.

Normally there are cars in the driveway of this house and the one next door, but not today. This was probably a crime of opportunity. The burglars may have walked down the street until they found empty driveways and figured no one was home. Our neighbors left the house only between 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. When they returned, they found a rear door screen torn, a door window broken and the door wide open. Also, there was obvious of attempted break in using a screw driver at another door and a couple windows.

Our neighbors reported the burglars took a laptop, and jewelry, including costume jewelry and some pieces with special meaning. The police could not find fingerprints, probably because of the helpful hints given to burglars by CSI and other police shows.

The police have said these crimes of opportunity have increased because of the poor economy. This means we must be more vigilant.

Know your neighbors and what their routines are. Consider telling them when you plan to be away and if you’re expecting anyone like workers.

Leave a car in the driveway, a radio on inside, and lock your doors and windows.

Report suspicious activity to the police non-emergency line, including door-to-door solicitors. And don’t open your door if you don’t know the person outside.

Make sure your wi-fi systems are password protected. Be aware that your signal may be picked up several houses away.

We still have a very safe neighborhood compared with other areas of Pasadena. BUT, don’t take chances. We obviously have thieves prowling our neighborhood looking for easy money. Let’s not give it to them.

Donn Dufford
Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association

One of our homeowners in the 1900 block of Brigden was approached by a black male and white female around 7 p.m. tonight. The couple had an ADT security sign and told the homeowner he could get a free security system if he put the sign on his lawn.

Our neighbor said no and the couple left. But upon checking, our neighbor found his neighbors were NOT contacted by the couple.

Every few months we do have a security company come through Brigden Ranch offering free service. Whether this is legitimate isn’t known. Whether the couple was casing the neighborhood isn’t known. Our neighbor called me and I asked him to alert the police. If the police have a patrol car available, they’ll send in through the neighborhood.

The police have told us crimes like burglary are increasing because of the economic downturn. Just because Brigden Ranch hasn’t been hit hard doesn’t mean we should let our guards down.

Be alert.

This does bring up the point that security systems DO help prevent burglaries. When a burglar sees a Protection One, ADT or other security sign and stickers on windows, they usually will pass that house by. Speaking from experience we avoided a burglary in another house we own by having Protection One service. I know this works.

Donn Dufford
BRNA President

Be sure to vote March 8. Who leads your City and school district is important.

This is to clarify information being circulated about a “Residential Burglary” that occurred on Woodlyn in Brigden Ranch yesterday.

Some of you may have received emails stating that a “Home Invasion Robbery” occurred on Sunday. Please be aware that this is incorrect and did NOT happen.

It is essential that facts are checked and proper terminology used before we communicate information or rumors that may cause unnecessary fear among our neighbors.

What occurred Sunday is a neighbor on Woodlyn between Martelo and Craig came home to find their home entered and possessions stolen. Emails were sent out that termed this criminal event a “Home Invasion Robbery” which is much more dangerous than this “Residential Burglary.”

Lt. Wallace, our area Pasadena Police Dept. field operations head, describes the difference: A “Home Invasion Robbery” depicts an incident where suspects, generally armed with weapons, gain entry to a house where the residents are at home and forcibly take property from those inside. What we have in this case is a “Residential Burglary” where the residents are gone; suspect(s) gained entry and took property. This is not to minimize the significance of the victimization but to assist in clarifying the incident.

At this time, we do not have information on what was stolen or who the criminal or criminals were.

We will continue to keep you informed about activities within Brigden Ranch that affect you and your family. We will always check facts before contacting you.

This is a reminder that, even with the warm weather, keep your doors and windows locked at night, and during the day when you’re away. Close and lock garage doors and other entrances that might offer crooks easy access to your home. Don’t leave valuables in your car or in house windows that can be seen by people walking by. This only invites theft. And report suspicious persons and activity to the police.

The first place to call is the Pasadena Police Department (626) 793-3176 to report suspicious activity. You can also call this number to find out what police activity is happening in our neighborhood (for example, if a police helicopter is circling overhead).

General questions can be directed to our PPD Police Specialist, Anita Butler, (626) 744-7650. Lt. Rodney D. Wallace is responsible for the PPD’s field operations division/patrol for the a wide area that includes Brigden Ranch. His office number is (626) 744-4620.

For those in the County, contact the Sheriff’s Office at (626) 798-1131.

Of course, if you have an emergency, call 911.

Donn Dufford
Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association

Summer time is here and where else can you spend a cool afternoon but at your local shopping malls. Here are just a few common sense safety tips that will help you make your summer shopping experience a bit safer.

Safety in Numbers

As always, it is a good idea to shop with friends or family when possible, particularly at night. The “buddy system” is most effect in deterring would be criminals from targeting victims. Safety in numbers is the name of the game.


When choosing a place to park, one should look for spaces near lighted areas and in plain view of the store and other shoppers. Criminals do not like to be seen by people or surveillance cameras. Have keys in hand and be ready to unlock and enter the vehicle swiftly with a plan to lock doors. If approached prior to getting in your vehicle, change directions and head back to an area where others can be alerted.


Be observant, alert. Upon arrival and prior to exiting your vehicle, take the time to look around. If you see someone loitering, be suspicious and do not hesitate to report the activity to police, store security or other employees. When exiting the store, pause for just a few seconds near the doorway and look around. If there is someone waiting for a potential victim, they are likely waiting in the wings for the opportunity to swoop by and snatch a purse from the unsuspecting customer. If you see someone that just doesn’t fit the scene or makes you uneasy, go back inside and report it to someone. Trust your instincts!


When in doubt about the surroundings, ask for a store employee or security to escort you to your car. There is no shame in asking for assistance and stores are generally happy to do it.

Purses & Valuables

What’s in your purse? One should consider reviewing what valuables are kept in the purse. Only those items essential to your shopping trip should make the trip. Far too often the victim has a multitude of credits cards, cash and various forms of I.D. Try trimming back on these items to minimize the potential loss and risk of identity theft. If you must carry a purse, wear it high on the shoulder and when possible, conceal it from view with a jacket or sweater drawn over it. It’s harder to steal what can’t be seen or isn’t there.

Have A Plan

In the event someone does take your purse, don’t fight over it or give chase. Being injured is not worth the replaceable contents of your purse. Should this happen, make lots of noise, scream and yell help, thief. Point in the direction of the suspect, but do not give chase, again the danger outweighs the loss of item. Try to obtain a complete description of the suspect, vehicles and direction of travel and write it down. This will assist law enforcement in catching the bad guys and the recovering loss. Of course, go back into the nearest place of safety and call police immediately via 9-1-1. If dialing from a cell phone, it is best to have the Police Department’s direct number programmed into your phone. This will save time, as most cell phone 9-1-1 calls must be rerouted to the appropriate agency.

Pasadena Police Dispatch Non-Emergency Line (626) 744-4241.

Security Spotlight

NOTE: Neighbors must be vigilant in order to protect our neighborhood. Here’s an article we recently ran across.

Take Notice of Suspicious Vehicles

The recent attempted terrorist attack in New York reminds us once again that taking notice of suspicious vehicles-and reporting them-can be critical in preventing structural damage, injury and loss of life.

On a balmy, busy Saturday night last month, a crude incendiary device was discovered in a smoking Nissan Pathfinder in Times Square. Police were called to the scene by an alert street vendor who noticed the smoke. Inside the vehicle, authorities found propane, gasoline, fireworks and two clocks with batteries. Police determined that the device was in the process of detonating when it was discovered, but that it had malfunctioned.

No doubt luck-that the device didn’t go off because the man who assembled it wasn’t very skilled-played a role in avoiding a potentially deadly event. But what ultimately foiled the attack was the vigilance of an “ordinary citizen” who noticed something unusual about the vehicle and immediately reported his suspicions to the authorities.

Something is Just Not Right

So, what is it that makes a vehicle suspicious? Clearly, an S.U.V. with smoke coming out of it raised a red flag, but most clues that a vehicle might be suspicious are a bit more subtle.

Suspicious vehicles can come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but the one defining characteristic they all share is that they seem “out of place.” Some other indicators to watch for include a car, van or vehicle that:

  • Emits an odd odor of chemicals, fuel, fertilizer or gunpowder
  • Doesn’t “fit” its surroundings-e.g., too pricey or too beat up, a panel truck in an area usually occupied by passenger cars
  • Has missing license plates-or an older vehicle with new or temporary tags
  • Is sagging on its springs which could indicate a load of explosives
  • Is parked awkwardly or parked in an unauthorized place
  • Moves slowly and repeatedly through an area
  • Has tinted windows or otherwise blocked view inside
  • Has been left in the same spot for an unusually long period of time
  • Is left idling in an unusual spot or unusual way (e.g., door ajar or window open)
  • Occupants are seen leaving in a hurried or strange manner

Most suspicious-looking vehicles turn out to be false alarms. In fact, in the days and weeks following the Times Square event, New York City police responded to several suspicious-vehicle calls-all of which turned out to be non-threatening. But it’s safer not to assume there is no risk. If you observe a vehicle with one or more of the above indicators, report it to the authorities immediately.

Five Senses are Enough to Spot Potential Trouble

Some say law enforcement and security personnel have a “sixth sense” when it comes to spotting trouble before it happens. But there is nothing supernatural about it. What sets these professionals apart is training and experience-that and frequent, thorough patrols of their environment that give insight into what is usual, and what is not.

Alert security officers on patrol and at access control points may be the first to detect a suspicious vehicle near or at a client site. But, as the street vendor in Times Square proved, anyone with a keen understanding of his or her surroundings can learn to detect when something-or someone-seems out of place.

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Burglary Alert

This did NOT happen in Brigden Ranch, but nearby.  We should be vigilant.

A burglary occurred in the 2200 block of Dudley, south of BR, this week.

Someone entered the garage around 7-9 a.m.  They took things, then entered the house.  They took jewelry and a laptop.

What makes this dangerous is that the burglar(s) was/were there while a child was at home asleep after the owner had gone to work.

Our belief is that the burglar was someone with knowledge of the family’s pattern in the morning.  The mother had left for work and their usual time, and the child normally wouldn’t have been home, but had a late school start that day.

The other point, that should be a lesson to all of us, is that the homeowner always leaves their house unlocked.  The burglar(s) may have known this.

Many of us have lived in Brigden Ranch for decades.  It has always been, and continues to be, a safe neighborhood.  But we should all take precautions to ensure the safety of our homes, our belongings, and our family.

Please check our website from time to time to learn more about what’s happening in Brigden Ranch.  And please ask your neighbors to send us their email address so we can keep them posted.

This last point is particularly important because several of the addresses on our list are being returned as undeliverable.  We know some of these folks are still around, but maybe they’ve changed their email address.

Have a great weekend.

Donn Dufford
Brigden Ranch

In an effort to be more “transparent,” the Pasadena Police Department has introduced a new web page. This site, is an attempt to allow citizens to find out what is happening in Pasadena from a crime standpoint.

Unfortunately, as with much of the information found on the Web, the raw data provided needs some explanation to be correctly understood. At first glance, all of the pin points on the map might make it appear as if Pasadena is suffering from a huge number of crimes. This isn’t the case.

This tool allows you to hone in on areas around your home, work place or school. However, it doesn’t easily allow for pinpointing crimes that have actually occurred within Brigden Ranch proper (a much smaller area). The tool also doesn’t spell out exactly what a particular crime actually was, whether the criminal was arrested, whether the District Attorney acted upon the case or whether it was dropped, and other important information needed to draw logical conclusions about the safety of Brigden Ranch, and Pasadena.

Another drawback to this new tool is that it doesn’t start plotting crimes until November 2, 2009, and does not compare statistics with past history. Also, the time period seems too specific (it appears to be only four months back from the current date.)

That given, here are some statistics you may find useful. They include Brigden Ranch proper, along with a half-mile radius from the center of Brigden Ranch.

Let’s start by defining Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association as Casa Grande Street on the south, Galbreth Road on the north, North Allen Avenue on the west and North Martelo Road on the east.

According to the Pasadena Police Department, only 11 crimes were reported during the four months between Nov 2, 2009 and March 10, 2010 within Brigden Ranch.

Those crimes were: Two reports of graffiti on Allen, both the same day, so apparently by the same individual(s). Petty theft in the 2100 block of Queensberry. Public intoxication in the 1900 block of Queensberry (two at the same location), and one in the 2100 block of Brigden. Two residential burglaries (one in the 2300 block of Queensberry, and one in the 2300 block of Woodlyn). Two vehicle burglaries (one in the 1900 block of Queensberry and one in the 2100 block of Casa Grande).

If you believe there were other crimes, they may not have been reported to the PPD, and/or a formal report may not have been taken and a case number assigned.

Note there were no crimes on a person, or violent crimes.

In other words, your Brigden Ranch neighborhood is pretty darn safe. (BUT it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set up Neighborhood Watches and know your neighbors and their schedules. To date, only two sets of homeowners within Brigden Ranch, and one immediately outside have

By comparison, there were 33 crimes within a half-mile radius of the 2200 block of Brigden (approximately Allen on the west, Buena Vista on the east (east of Altadena Drive), Orange Grove on the south, and just south of New York on the north). This includes Brigden Ranch as well as areas adjacent.

There were 122 crimes within a one-mile radius (approximately Hill on the west, Eaton Canyon Golf Course on the east, the 210 Freeway on the south, and Meadowbrook Road and Glen Canyon Road on the north). Within 2 miles, there were 167 crimes between Dec. 1, 2009 and March 10, 2010 (approximately Rosemead on the east, Los Robles on the west, California on the south and the foothills to the north).

Two other web sites are available to the public. The general PPD site: where you can click on the “e-policing tool bar” to reach the above site. And, another where you can subscribe to emails from the PPD and other areas policing agencies. We haven’t found this service to be of much use, other than to find out when area police departments are running sobriety checkpoints (but not where).

Here are two items that may interest you –

FIRST — During the past few weeks there has been lengthy discussion between the City, PUSD, Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association, and residents along Roxbury and Mountain about the impact of generators and lights being used at night on Marshall fields.

The neighbors immediately impacted, and your Association, objected to an independent club soccer team (not a Marshall team) using the fields at night, with up to seven noisy generators running flood lights on tall polls.  We were concerned that the district and City were allowing outsiders to use Marshall and severely impacting the quality of life in the neighborhood, without considering the feelings of the neighbors.

The lights and generator noise prevented homeowners from opening their doors and windows at night, opening their window shades, or sitting outside on their patios.

After hearing from the neighbors, all of whom objected, the district re-wrote the permit for the soccer team.  The team will only be allowed to use Marshall during weekend days, and will not be permitted to use generators and lights.

SECOND — What also came out of this incident, is a chance as a neighborhood to voice our concerns about the impact Marshall Fundamental School has on our area.

Council Member Margaret McAustin, and PUSD Board President Tom Selinske will host a meeting to discuss the impacts Marshall has on our neighborhood.  They will listen to your concerns and respond.

Areas of concern may include how the Marshall fields/facilities will be utilized under the proposed joint-use of facilities plan.  Under this plan, the public will be able to use school facilities through Pasadena.  What some people are concerned with is who will be allowed to use the fields and facilities (neighbors, or anyone outside the immediate neighborhood).  Traffic issues.  Parking.  Crime and graffiti.  The future of Marshall.

The community meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, January 15 –

6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Marshall School Library

Members of the Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association (like you) are being invited, as well as residents on Roxbury and Mountain.

Please feel free to invite any of your neighbors who haven’t received this note.  You may get duplicates of this information from different sources.

Should you not be able to attend, and want to have your thoughts heard, please e-mail me your ideas.


Donn Dufford
Brigden Ranch Neighborhood Association President

If you have questions, please contact:

Margo Fuller
District 2 Field Representative
(626) 744-4742
(626) 744-3814 fax

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Heads Up

As some of you know, the BRNA Board discussed Neighborhood Watch Monday night at our Board meeting and took steps to begin developing a system.

It appears that’s good timing. I wanted to alert you to the following.

I’ve spent the past couple hours dealing with the police and lookiing at burglary suspects. A teen tried to break into my neighbor’s house about 1:00 p.m. today … and I’m looking right out the window at him. I went after him, but he and another kid (the spotter) got away. The police are looking for them.

Teens (15-17). Black. Dark complexion. About 5′10″ 150 lbs. Short, buzz-type haircuts. One wearing black jeans and black short-sleeve top, the other black jeans and white short-sleeve top. One riding a bike.

They (the burglars) found five houses in a row with no cars in driveways. Figured no one was home. Walked down long driveway into back yard. Tried to pull screen off open window in kitchen. Failed. Pulled screen off another open window but couldn’t get the window up. Tried on my side of neighbor’s house and didn’t realize I was home.

Not only did they try this house, but apparently tried another earlier in the morning but were frightened off.

Watch our web site and our newsletter for more information.

In the meantime, keep your doors and windows locked.

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