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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 8:42 pm | Fair 53º


Santa Barbara Police Investigate Monday Morning Car Burglaries

Santa Barbara residents reported a rash of car burglaries early Monday, with windows smashed and items taken valued at more than $2,000, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Officers responded to the first vehicle burglary call at 7:44 a.m. Monday to the 3900 and 4000 block of Via Lucero off La Cumbre Road, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.

Police found three different vehicles with broken rear windows and a fourth vehicle vandalized when its radio antenna was broken, Harwood said.

In each case involving broken windows, people had left items in plain sight in the backseat, including a purse, an SLR camera with lenses and a card game in a black case — all of which were stolen, he said. 

Harwood said the camera was valued at more than $2,000, the purse was worth $200 and the stolen game was $50.

“The common thing among these things is they all had items in plain sight,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate. Our investigation indicates this happened in the nighttime hours while they were sleeping.”

The neighborhood near Upper State Street is packed with apartments and street parking, Harwood said.

Santa Barbara police detectives have been investigating a number of vehicle burglary and vandalism cases, including a spree on Dec. 17 that damaged 33 vehicles — including slashed tires, broken windshields and busted mirrors — and caused thousands of dollars in damages.

Harwood didn’t have any updates to share on that case but cautioned residents to use common sense.

“It happens all the time, but sometimes it happens in rashes because perpetrators are out and about and not in custody,” he said.

“Detectives tell me many of these cases could be prevented if people would either remember to lock their cars or not keep valuables in plain sight.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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