Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 3:42 pm | Fair and Breezy 70º


Local News


Santa Barbara Police Urge Public to Protect Holiday Deliveries from Theft

Police are urging the public to keep track of their packages and deliveries after a string of thefts occurred recently across Santa Barbara.

A handful of reports have come in since October, stating that UPS and FedEx packages have been stolen off of front doorsteps after they’ve been delivered, said Sgt. Riley Harwood of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

“This is something that tends to be seasonal,” Harwood said of the package thefts, adding that the department has seen similar trends in past years as more people have gifts delivered from online stores.

At least five of the thefts occurred in November, and one has been reported thus far this month, he said.

The majority of the thefts occurred in residential areas, from neighborhoods on the Mesa and on Foothill Road, as well as several in downtown Santa Barbara.

“It’s all over,” he said.

All of the items were recorded as crimes of petty theft, which means their value is $950 or less.

Harwood said the crimes were reported after people returned home, expecting packages, only to find them missing.

Tracking down the culprits can be difficult because “in many cases we don’t have any suspect information,” he said. “There’s always hope that a neighbor might have seen something.”

Sometimes cases like this will be resolved when suspects are pulled over for traffic stops for a different reason, and then investigation will link them to other activity, such as theft or burglary, Harwood said.

People are encouraged to use tracking features to determine when their packages will be delivered, and if they won’t be home at the time, they should ask a trusted neighbor to pick it up for them, Harwood said.

Items of large value should be directed to a local post office, where they can be picked up in person.

“It’s just something we often see every holiday season,” he said.

Residents are also encouraged to lock their vehicles and not to leave valuables inside, as police have been seeing more reports of theft from vehicles.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >