Community Service Announcement – Vehicle Burglaries on the Rise

Authored on
December 1, 2021

The Santa Barbara Police Department has recently received numerous reports about vehicle burglaries occurring in the city. These incidents have been occurring mainly in recreational areas, the municipal golf course, city parks, beach front and other parking lots/areas throughout the City of Santa Barbara.

It is believed a group of criminals from outside the Santa Barbara area are specifically targeting vehicles that have valuables inside the vehicle. Information has also been received that this network of criminals is highly sophisticated; they utilize “look-outs” observing future victim’s actions, and wait for the victim to leave their vehicle prior to breaking in.

Many victims have reported placing valuables inside the trunk of their vehicle, believing this is a secure location for purses and wallets. These criminals have burglary tools that allows them to gain access discreetly and quickly to the vehicle’s trunk, then remove only the victim’s credit/debit cards, leaving the wallet or purse behind. The victims are initially unaware the crime has occurred, even after returning to their vehicle and retrieving their property that they believed was secured.

The Police Department is recommending to all community members not to leave any valuables inside a vehicle. Take them with you!

Officers and Detectives are actively working on apprehending these criminals. If anyone observes suspicious activity at the above-mentioned locations, call 9-1-1 immediately or SBPD Dispatch 805-882-8900.