Burglaries at UC Santa Barbara have increased since 2014, while burglaries in Isla Vista have dropped, local law enforcement say.
Burglaries in Isla Vista decline while campus burglaries go up from 15 to 33. Phi Do / Daily Nexus
“Most of the burglaries we take are ‘non-forcible’ and crimes of opportunity because a resident or a building was left unlocked,” UC Police Department Sgt. Rob Romero said in an email.
“Non-forcible” burglaries refer to incidents where a student or faculty member may have left a door or window unlocked and someone broke in as a result. A “forcible” burglary refers to an incident where a building or residence hall is forcibly broken into.
The UCPD numbers do not include non-university owned property such as fraternities, sororities or vehicle burglaries.
SBSO spokesperson Kelly Hoover said the decrease in burglaries “goes hand in hand” with the “keep it local” philosophy and the efforts that students and I.V. stakeholders have made in keeping the community safe.
Phi Do / Daily Nexus
Hoover said SBSO has increased its efforts to educate students on the need to secure their properties at all times.
The numbers do not include the recent “rash” of burglaries that occurred on Dec. 3, when more than 25 I.V. residents’ laptops, phones, bikes, backpacks, jewelry, house keys and car keys were stolen over the course of a single weekend.
The unknown suspects entered residents’ homes while they were sleeping through unlocked doors or windows.
“As we saw this past weekend with the rash of residential burglaries we had, there is still plenty of opportunity for criminals to find victims,” Hoover said in an email.
There was one burglary in I.V. over Thanksgiving break, Hoover said.
During the recent power outage, there were no reported burglaries, according to the SBSO arrest logs.
I.V. Community Resource Deputy for the I.V. Foot Patrol James McKarrell said burglaries have decreased because of “numerous efforts made in our community,” referencing IVFP and UCSB’s “Stop Burglaries in I.V.” campaign.
Officers and the university educated the community about the dangers of leaving bikes, homes and vehicles unlocked and spoke to residents about the “dangers” of throwing house parties and allowing unknown people into their homes, McKarrell said.
“Our overall message to the community has been ‘lock it or lose it,’” McKarrell said.
In preparation for winter break, residence halls have placed signs on entry doors to remind students to lock their doors and windows so no one can break in while students are gone.
According to Paul Tadross, assistant resident director of UCSB Housing, Dining and Auxiliary Services, community service officers will be completing “internal rounds” of the residence halls over the break period.
Tadross sent out a list of tasks that students should do before leaving, which includes locking windows and securing valuables or taking them home.
“We suggest placing valuables in your desk or closet and using a lock,” Tadross said in an email sent out to UCSB students who reside in the residence halls.
The UCSB Community Housing Office also posted two informational videos that contain tips for students about securing homes over break, one on Nov. 14 and the second on Nov. 28 in response to Thanksgiving and winter breaks respectively.
Tips included discussing with roommates who will be the last to leave, making sure valuables are out of sight, turning on porch lights and locking cars, windows and doors.
Students who decided to pay the $500 fee and stay over break should not prop open the outside doors and should keep their doors looked at all times, Tadross said.
A version of this article appeared on p.5 of the Dec. 7 print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Correction: This article previously said Isla Vista robberies increased and UC Santa Barbara robberies decreased because of an editing error. The opposite is true.
Evelyn Spence harbors a great love for Oxford commas and runs on nothing but iced coffee, Jolly Ranchers, and breaking news. Currently, she serves as the County News Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.