The Santa Barbara Police Department says it has investigated 78 stolen vehicles since July 1. More than 40 of those thefts have been reported since the beginning of September.
Police issued the following tips to help protect against car thieves:
- Remove valuables from your vehicle and remove hide-a-keys.
- Do not leave your car running and unattended, even for a short time.
- Contact police if you witness suspicious activity, especially activity in and around parking lots or neighborhoods.
- When able, park in well-lit areas.
- Install safety features in your vehicle.
- Close your windows.
If your vehicle is stolen, police say you should contact local law enforcement immediately and provide the year, make, model, and license plate number, as well as information on when the car was taken. You should also contact your car insurance provider to make them aware of the theft.
Police also want to remind the public that with the holiday season approaching, there will likely be an increase in package thefts.
They released the following tips to prevent package theft:
- Always track your shipment online.
- Request a delivery service hold your package for pick-up at their facility.
- Ship packages to your place of employment, if permitted by your employer.
- Choose a shipping option that requires a signature for delivery.
- Install Wi-Fi enabled cameras to provide alerts as well as motion sensor lighting.
- Install a secured mailbox or package lockbox.
- Report suspicious subjects to your local law enforcement.