Isla Vista’s winter slumber went relatively undisturbed this year, as yet another Winter Break passed with fewer burglary reports than in previous years.
So far, residents of five I.V. residences have reported that their houses were burglarized during Winter Break, putting this break’s crime statistics slightly below those of last year’s, during which seven houses were broken into. However, Deputy Glen Moore of the IVFP said that number may increase in the days to come, as they expect more reports have yet to be filed.
Moore said the number of Winter Break burglaries reported so far is relatively low, but he said that it is still too soon to declare that crime is down from previous years.
“Traditionally, as students get back from break it takes a while for all the burglaries to get reported,” Moore said.
Moore said he anticipates that the IVFP will receive more reports as UCSB and SB City College students return to homes in I.V. that were left unattended over break. More reports may be filed over the next few weeks as additional Isla Vista residents return for the beginning of SBCC Spring Semester, which commences later this month.
“There will probably be a few more reported within the next week or so, but at this point it’s hard to say how many,” Moore said.
Ali Martinez, a second-year global studies major, said her apartment on the 800 block of Camino Lindo was burglarized the night of Dec. 19 by two suspects, one of whom was wearing a black ski mask and gloves and carrying a duffel bag.
Martinez said she was in her room at about 8 p.m. when she heard noises coming from elsewhere in the apartment. She then went out to investigate and saw what looked like an 11-year-old boy standing in the hallway, Martinez said.
She asked the boy what he was doing, and when he did not reply, Martinez said she walked past him and saw the masked second suspect rummaging through a closet. Martinez said she then addressed the second man, who looked to be about 20 years old, at which point both of the suspects left the apartment without saying a word.
Martinez said she is sure that all the doors and windows in the house were locked at the time except for the deadbolt on the front door. She said she believes the suspects picked the door’s secondary lock to gain entry to the house.
While Martinez said she doesn’t think the burglars were able to take anything before fleeing the building, she said the incident made her concerned about her safety in the apartment.
“I was at home alone when it happened,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep in the house by myself after that.”
Martinez said her sense of security was further eroded after her house was burglarized a second time on New Year’s Eve, when someone opened her unlocked garage and made off with a bicycle and two skateboards.
“I feel basically like anyone could come in and take our stuff,” Martinez said.
Chris Hevesy, one of six residents in an apartment on the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive, said his house was burglarized Dec. 27 at about 1:30 p.m. while he and another of his roommates were in their rooms.
Hevesy said he had been taking a nap and was not aware of the burglary until he awoke and found three IVFP deputies in his living room with guns drawn.
The suspects most likely entered through an unlocked back door, Hevesy said. He said they stole a Playstation 2, a cable box and a stereo, which was later found on the ground outside the apartment.
Although neither Hevesy nor his roommate saw the burglars, a local mailman and an I.V. Recreation and Park District employee both saw several men enter the house and come back out with the stolen items, Hevesy said.
One of the witnesses was able to provide the IVFP with the license plate number of the vehicle the men were driving, but Hevesy said he does not have much hope of seeing the stolen belongings again.
“They’ll probably catch the guys who did it, but I don’t think there’s any way we’ll get our stuff back,” Hevesy said.
Hevesy said a television had also been stolen when his apartment was burglarized earlier in the year, but he said he and his roommates still routinely leave the doors to the house unlocked.
Unlike Martinez, Hevesy said he does not feel any less safe in the apartment and said he recognizes it as a relatively normal occurrence in I.V. However, he said he does plan to be much more careful about securing the house in the future.
“We weren’t terribly surprised that it happened again,” Hevesy said. “It’s pretty much just a part of living in I.V.”