Lompoc police working to combat increase in crime

Posted at 6:46 PM, May 02, 2018

The city of Lompoc has seen crime rates go up in the last couple of months. 

The chief of police says they are working to combat it, especially the high number of crimes that include shoplifting, car break-ins and property thefts.

The recent uptick in thefts has many Lompoc locals on high alert. 

"I think it’s only a matter of time before it happens to me or somebody in my household," said Merrissa Cervantes, Lompoc resident. 

Cervantes says she double checks that all her doors are always locked.

So does Lompoc resident Amber Wang, who recently got her car broken into.  

"We lost everything, GPS, the drivers license," Wang explained. 

"Any kind of theft is up," said Chief Pat Walsh, Lompoc Police Department. "Bike theft, theft from stores, every store. If you go talk to any store, every day they are getting shoplifted." 

Chief Walsh says he has requested that the city council pass a resolution to support the Keep California Safe Act of 2018.

"Which is a campaign to put a ballot initiative on the November ballot to fix some of the issues we see," Chief Walsh explained. "If we are able to get things like petty theft with a prior back, which means if you are caught a third time for stealing, it actually becomes a felony, if we get those things backed then our serial thieves will be held accountable. Right now, they are not being held accountable." 

The resolution was approved by the city council Tuesday night.

The chief believes it will help reduce crime.

The department will also get four new officers soon. Their training is expected to be complete in the next month.. 

Police say one way the community can help reduce crime is by starting a neighborhood watch group.

Police also ask that people report crimes to the department immediately and not just post about it on social media, as officers do not monitor that.