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Don’t Let Holiday Thieves Shop on Your Front Porch

Guillermo Gomez
Guillermo Gomez

With the assistance of security cameras on his home, a resident in the 100 block of Walnut Avenue discovered at about 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 that two packages had been stolen from his front porch.

On Oct. 30, deputies identified the suspect in the case as Guillermo Gomez, 44, of Santa Barbara.

Deputies located and arrested Gomez at his residence in Santa Barbara. He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for a violation of California Penal Code Section 488 (Petty Theft and 496) Possession of Stolen Property, and is being held on $2,500 bail.

Deputies were able to recover the stolen property and return it to the victim.

As the holiday season approaches, many people will do their shopping online. To ensure safe delivery of packages and keep them out of the hands of thieves, follow these security tips:

» Set up alternative delivery/pickup options through your local delivery services. Whether the majority of your packages are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS or FedEx, each offers alternative delivery and pickup options.

For example, UPS has an expanding Access Point network that provides for delivery and pickup of packages at local grocery or convenience stores in various neighborhoods. Let the delivery company know when you will be home.

» Discourage thieves from targeting your residence with a few strategic home security devices. Home surveillance cameras can be effective crime deterrents.

Home security cameras should be prominently displayed where potential criminals can see them, yet high enough to prevent them from being tampered with. Outdoor security lighting and a home alarm system can also be effective crime deterrents.

» Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles and subjects in your neighborhood.

Putting a stop to package theft and residential burglaries is a team effort. Talk to neighbors and urge everyone to keep an eye out for suspicious activity (a person or vehicle following a delivery truck, or a stranger removing a package from outside a residence).

Report suspicious activity to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office by calling 911. To report a theft which occurred earlier, go to http://www.sbsheriff.org to file an online report or call the non-emergency number, 805-681-4100.

— Kelly Hoover for Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.


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