While Isla Vista residents were home celebrating Thanksgiving, intruders were reported breaking into two homes last weekend.
The resident of an apartment on the 6700 block of Trigo Road said he was awakened at about 3 a.m. when two men, later identified as Dane Luteskoths of Isla Vista and Mike Downs of Goleta, began rummaging around his apartment.
The two subjects told the resident they were looking for a girl and “they had the wrong address,” I.V. Foot Patrol Lt. Russ Birchim said. The resident told the subjects to stay and called 911. The subjects attempted to flee the scene, but the victim followed them until the police arrived, Birchim said.
The suspects told authorities they had entered the Trigo apartment through unlocked doors. One of the suspects admitted to entering at least three other residences in I.V. and told authorities he had stolen a DVD player.
Property missing from the Trigo Road apartment was found nearby by officers arriving at the scene, Birchim said.
In another break-in attempt on Friday, two residents on the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive heard noises outside their home at about 5:45 a.m. The residents saw a male suspect poke his head through the window, and upon seeing the residents, he ran out into their yard, Birchim said.
Authorities were unable to contact the suspect.
During the holiday season, break-ins are common because burglars anticipate empty homes as the student population leaves town, Birchim said.
There was only one reported burglary in 1999 over the Thanksgiving holiday, which was the year the IVFP introduced their Vacation Check service, which allows residents to notify the Foot Patrol of the dates they will be out of town.
Birchim said the residents should take advantage of the service, especially over the long winter break. There were five burglaries over winter break in 1999, and seven in 2000.
“We will make sure the apartment is all secure, and all they have to do is call in,” he said.
Birchim said he hopes residents will remember to lock up and to look out for their neighbors.
“It’s all just common sense. Pull your curtains so no one can look and see anything valuable inside, make sure your vehicle is locked up too,” he said. “Make sure if someone is going to stay behind they remember to lock their doors up too. Burglars think the majority of students are gone – it could be an awful surprise.”
On Sunday Nov. 18, a burglary suspect broke into an apartment on the 6600 block of Trigo Road where the resident was sleeping inside her bedroom. The suspect entered through a window where the screen had been removed. A neighbor, concerned over the suspicious circumstances, called 911 after seeing someone using a flashlight inside the house, Birchim said.
“We encourage people to call us if they see anyone trying to get into an apartment or tampering with a vehicle,” Birchim said.
The IVFP can be reached at 681-4179 during business hours.