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Deputies targeting crime in Old Town

13 arrested during four-hour saturation sweep

VICTORVILLE • On a daily basis, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Victorville station gets more calls from Old Town than deputies can respond to effectively. But officials say a saturation operation this week proved to be an effective step in ongoing efforts to reduce crime in the area.

On Wednesday, the Victorville sheriff’s station along with City Code Enforcement and County Probation executed a four-hour-long saturation sweep of Old Town Victorville, according to a press release.

“It was an all-around-type saturation of that area,” Detective Brian Waterhouse said.

The saturation operation started at noon on Wednesday. Ten Victorville deputies conducted vehicle and pedestrian checks, making approximately 50 contacts and visiting 15 sites, according to Waterhouse.

Waterhouse was pleased with the effectiveness of the operation.

“For the short amount of time we were out there, it was successful,” Waterhouse explained. “In the space of four hours, we made 13 arrests.”

Many of the arrests were for possession of narcotics or outstanding warrants, according to the release. Officers seized a variety of illegal drugs and knives, according to Waterhouse.

During the saturation operation, officers issued citations for panhandling, jaywalking and vehicle code violations. The Victorville station gets an influx of calls for these problems every day, according to Waterhouse.

“We wanted to do a daytime operation when businesses are open,” Waterhouse said.

Crime has been a long-standing issue in Old Town, an area that attracts many homeless people and transients. The high levels of crime discourage new businesses from moving into abandoned store fronts, according to previous reports.

Because this operation was deemed a success, Waterhouse says the Victorville station plans to conduct saturation patrols more frequently in hopes of making the area a better place to live and work.

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