Police Warn of Increase in Purse Thefts and Vehicle Burglaries
Source: Santa Barbara Police Department
The Santa Barbara Police Department would like to alert citizens:
- Be aware of suspicious activity stemming from high traffic areas like retail parking lots or beach front parking areas.
- The constant turnover and activity aide a thief’s ability to blend in with the environment. Be aware, these culprits are frequenting grocery store & shopping center parking lots.
- Inside the store, they target unsuspecting shoppers who place personal items – like purses – in the cart. When the shopper is distracted, they grab the items of value.
As stated previously, there has been a rash of vehicle burglaries and theft from vehicles at beachfront parking areas and trailheads. Police suspect professional crews are specifically targeting those areas due to high value opportunities.
The vehicles are often accessed while locked with the use of tools to force entry.
Sometimes, thieves steal only a couple of credit cards – returning the wallet or purse to its original location in the vehicle. They rack up thousands of dollars of charges before an unsuspecting victim realizes that they have been taken.
Don’t become a victim. The Santa Barbara Police Department encourages citizens to:
- Keep your purse on your shoulder while shopping – NOT in the cart.
- Lock your car and take your keys with you -- numerous stolen cars are taken because people leave their key or key fob in the car and leave it unlocked.
- There’s no such thing of a good hiding spot inside a vehicle. Do not leave purses, backpacks, wallets, phones, or anything else of value in your parked car.
Do your part. Remain aware, help us catch these thieves by reporting any observed suspicious activity by calling 911.