NORTHRIDGE ( — Property crimes in the north San Fernando Valley have dropped dramatically since the start of the new year, police said Monday.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports officers with the LAPD’s Devonshire Division attribute the trend to a so-called “Smart Policing” initiative.

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Since Smart Policing was implemented Jan. 1, property crimes have dropped nearly 24 percent, according to police. Ten out of 24 prolific property crime suspects monitored by Devonshire investigators are also currently in custody.

The suspects were caught by police after officers with Devonshire’s Recidivist Extraction Detail tailed them and either caught them in the act or immediately following a theft, officials said.

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Capt. Chris Pitcher said another way to prevent these crimes is for people to pay closer attention to their iPhones, iPads and other small electronics.

“What we have is individuals bringing them in and around the community and just leaving them unattended, and they’re being stolen in literally record numbers,” said Pitcher.

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Residents in the area were being urged to remain vigilant and to keep a close watch on their personal electronic devices.