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Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Adds Online Crime Reporting System

New system can be used for certain crimes involving lost property, identify theft, fraud and vandalism

Reporting a minor crime is now as simple as going online thanks to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department’s newest tool. 

The agency on Tuesday announced a new online crime report filing option available on its website, but emphasized that 9-1-1 should be used for crimes in progress and emergency situations.

The system will give Santa Barbara County residents a convenient option for filing a report especially during a time when resources are limited, Sheriff Bill Brown said.

“This new online reporting tool is a practical and efficient addition to our crime-fighting toolbox. It provides convenience for victims of certain crimes and leverages our limited number of patrol deputies on any given shift,” Brown said. “The result is more cost effective law enforcement service and enhanced public safety.”

The Citizen Online Reporting service is a web-based software system that will allow the public to file certain incident reports in the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department, 24 hours a day, on any internet-enabled computer or mobile device. 

The Sheriff’s Department jurisdiction includes unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County, such as Orcutt and Vandenberg Village, plus several cities — Goleta, Carpinteria, Solvang and Buellton — that contract with the agency to serve as its police department. 

Online crime reports can be filed for issues involving lost property, animal complaints, child custody violations, telephone harassment, fraud/identity theft, vandalism and vacation check requests.  

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department added an online crime reporting system to its website this week. Click to view larger
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department added an online crime reporting system to its website this week. 

Reporting a theft from an unlocked vehicle can be done via the online system, officials said. However, the burglary of a locked vehicle, where force was used to enter such as by breaking a window, should be reported directly to a deputy, instead of using the online system.

The online system should not be used in incidents with suspect information or evidence that can lead to the identification of a suspect, anything involving the use or threat of weapon including a gun or knife, stolen vehicles or thefts of license plates or stolen firearms or ammunition.

Additionally resident should still call the Sheriff’s Department for any crime in progress or dial 9-1-1 for emergencies, officials said.

To file a report via the digital system, go to Sheriff’s Department website and click “File An Online Report.” 

Users will see an option to submit a report, followed by several questions. 

After the report is submitted, it will be reviewed and approved by a patrol supervisor or other personnel. The system also allows residents to print their reports. 

Once the report is reviewed and approved, an email will be sent with a PDF copy of the report and the Sheriff's Department case number, officials said.

“There is no exact response time frame but the goal is to have it reviewed the same day or within several days,” spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said. “The response time is also dependent on whether the case requires follow-up investigation.”

A video explaining how to use the system is available here on YouTube.

To speak to a deputy directly, call the Sheriff’s Department at 805.681.4100 or go to one of the following stations.

» Carpinteria — 5775 Carpinteria Ave.

» Lompoc — 3500 Harris Grade Rd.    

» Santa Barbara — 4434 Calle Real              

» Buellton —140 W. Highway 246

» Goleta —7042 Market Place Dr.                 

» Solvang—1745 Mission Dr.

» Isla Vista — 6504 Trigo Rd.                 

» Santa Maria — 812-A West Foster Rd.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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