Stolen from Isla Vista during 2010, nearly 100 wetsuits now sit inside a locker at the I.V. Foot Patrol station, awaiting theirs owners to reclaim them.
County Sheriff Deputy Mark Ward said law enforcement recovered a cache of stolen neoprene wetsuits during the winter holidays, after an Isla Vista resident found his stolen suit posted for sale in an online advertisement. After a search warrant was issued for the seller’s residence, deputies recovered close to 100 stolen wetsuits from a property not in Isla Vista. As of press time, a suspect has been apprehended but no further information on their identity is available.
[media-credit id=20177 align="alignleft" width="250"][/media-credit]Commonly used by I.V. residents for surfing, swimming, scuba diving and other marine activities, the wetsuits were likely stolen from balconies and railings as their owners left them out to dry.
The wetsuits are currently being held at the I.V.F.P. station on 6504 Trigo Rd. and will be returned to individuals who can prove ownership.
“We just need something to be sure that were not giving the suit to someone other than its rightful owner,” Ward said. “A photograph of you wearing it, a description of specific repair that has been made to the suit; we just need something to be sure that the suit belongs to you.”
Kai Flanders, a third-year creative writing major at UCSB, said he was inconvenienced by the theft of his wetsuit last year.
“Who would want to steal a wetsuit?” Flanders said. “It must be someone with a golden shower fetish because that is the only kind of person that I can think of who would want to wear my piss-stained wetsuit. If I ever see someone stealing a wetsuit I am going to cut out the crotch of it and superglue it to that dumb shit’s face.”
Despite the unusual nature of the robbery, Ward said it is common for people to steal expensive items left out in I.V.
“I.V. is the kingdom of stolen property,” Ward said. “People need to lock their doors and windows when they leave or go to sleep. Almost all the investigations I have been in the robbers did not break into the residence; they just walked though an open door or widow and the residents either didn’t catch them or did not think they were being robbed.”
For wetsuit recovery, contact Sheriff Deputy Mark Ward of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol at (805) 681-4179 after 5 p.m. Friday through Monday.