Drew Ferraro

Mountain Avenue Elementary fourth grader Renee Kalsians and her mother Adrine look at a memory board during a fundraiser to benefit an anti-bullying campaign in the wake of Crescenta Valley High School's Drew Ferraro suicide at Leo's Bar and Grill in La Crescenta, Calif. (Photo by Libby Cline / March 4, 2012)

Glendale got introduced to a whole a new meaning for "knock knock" in 2012, and became the focus of international media coverage after becoming the object of desire for two television stars — Kim Kardashian and a black bear with a taste for residential trash. Hardship struck at City Hall and other local agencies. And tragedy hit Glendale Unified.

The year 2012 was all over the map. So lest we forget, here's a look back at some of the bigger stories of the past year.


No longer third

The city of Glendale — long-known as the third most populous city in Los Angeles County — lost that rank to Santa Clarita following that city's annexation of several unincorporated communities.

The annexations, which were approved by the county's Local Agency Formation Commission, took Santa Clarita's population from 176,000 to about 203,000 in November, pushing it above Glendale's population of 192,000.

Officials in Glendale had repeatedly referred to the city's rank as the county's third largest city when discussing the community and pointing out the city's political significance.

Although Mayor Frank Quintero called the rank Glendale's “claim to fame,” others at City Hall played down the drop, contending little difference exists between the No. 3 and 4 spots.

While Santa Clarita expanded, Glendale's population has been on a steady decline in recent years, which has been blamed on a lack of new developments and affordable housing for low-income families.

The loss of Glendale's third-place rank does not affect the city's chances of receiving state or federal grants and funding.


Rash of burglaries

An organized crime group targeted affluent neighborhoods in April this year, prompting two police pursuits.

The thieves were South Los Angeles gang members who targeted high-end homes in the San Fernando Valley, Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena, police said. The “knock-knock” burglaries were so named because the thieves typically knocked on a home door to ensure no one was inside before entering and ransacking it.

At least 10 men were arrested in Glendale in separate incidents, including residential burglaries and a theft of cellphones at an AT&T kiosk at the Glendale Galleria.

In one of the home break-ins, police locked down a neighborhood near ABC studios for seven hours as they searched for suspects. They eventually found them — one of whom was hiding in a crawl space inside a garage.

Soon after the break-ins, police stepped up enforcement near all freeway exits in an effort to keep any future burglars from fleeing the city and vowed to keep the public informed about the thefts.

The thieves stole small items of high and quick resale value and typically hit during the day, when homeowners were at work.

Los Angeles Police Department officials recently released photographs of more than 11,000 pieces of jewelry and watches that were recovered from knock-knock burglary suspects in an effort to track down the owners.


Overseas scam

Public support poured in for an 81-year-old Glendale woman who lost her life savings to a lottery scam, forcing her to abandon any plans to retire from her longtime job as a waitress at the landmark French restaurant Taix in Los Angeles.