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‘Tis the season to follow these crime prevention tips

'Tis the season to follow crime prevention tips

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Unfortunately the season of giving is also the season police see a spike in property crime.

Santa Barbara Police Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale said, "Criminals definitely look for victims through crimes of opportunity."

Victims of vandalism such as package thefts from porches and vehicles can do simple things to cut down on those kinds of crimes.

"We really ask community members to make sure if they are out doing holiday shopping, that they secure packages and valuables out of sight, so putting it in the trunk of your vehicle, covering it up with blanket or a jacket."

Parking a car unattended for a long period of time at a trailhead or activity may also invite crime.

Cyclists are also reminded to lock bikes up. Glyn Figueria of Santa Barbara locked her electric bike up right in front of the store she was going in. She said her son had his bike stolen, so she is being extra cautious.

She also has insurance on her investment.

As for the spike in group crimes , Police are investing a group shoplifting incident at Volcom on State St. on Monday afternoon.

The store is popular among surfers and skaters.

"Definitely our detectives are looking at it we are working on all leads that we have for that case."

The ten young suspects involved could have been trying to copy recent smash-and-grab crimes reported in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"We are absolutely glad we are not currently having smash and grabs," said Ragsdale, " There are things obviously that shop owners can do to protect themselves, having security cameras, hiring private security officers is definitely one thing, and also we also ask anybody that if there is some sort of active theft going on at your store, whatever that might be, we ask you call 911 do not get involved."

He said that will prevent store owners and employees from getting injured.

Police recently caught a Los Angeles women suspected of stealing items from homes in Montecito.

The items included wrapped packages and a Chewy dog box delivery.

Holiday crime prevention tips involving the post office and delivery services include tracking packages on line and making sure someone is home for the delivery or arrange for items to be picked up at a safe locations.

Gift givers should also avoid sending items that are obviously wrapped like presents.

During the holidays Santa Barbara Police will have extra officers assigned to be downtown, and motorcycle officers on extended patrols in city lots and parking garages near State St.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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