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With more people out in nature this spring, safety precautions for your belongings are recommended

GOLETA, Calif. - At a morning Coffee with a Cop gathering at Old Town Coffee in Goleta, the topic of current safety warnings and sometimes unsuspecting crimes, came up.

It is the time of year when more people are out on coastal bluffs for hikes, or nature trails in the hills.

They often leave their cars a great distance away.

New Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department Community Resource Deputy Connor Worden said,
"in this day and age, you have to lock your car and you can not leave valuables in it. That's what we are seeing, is someone parks and they (citizens) want to walk the Ellwood bluffs or the Butterfly Preserve and they don't want to leave their purse so they leave it in the car. There are people hanging out in that parking lot waiting for that opportunity as soon as you leave your car. They know you are not going to be back for quite awhile. They are going to break your window or open it if it is unlocked and get your credit card and use it down the street at Target."

Many residents we spoke with said they were not victims, but were cautious even though it was a peaceful location.

Carmen Allison said, "if I am someplace more extreme, like a trail head, usually I take my cards with me.  My purse may be there but not visible. I used to do some trailing runs and there were always stories about being broken into."

Goleta resident Nancy Boroy said, "I don't feel good about leaving things in the car like my wallet. My wallet is pretty much the only thing and so I mostly take it with me. "

She was with Mike Soldner who was visiting from New York, and said, "today as usual, like I do everyday, I put my stuff in the back of the car."

Even double-checking is a good habit. Talli Richards-Versola said, "yes, but I can be way down there (on a trail) and lock it and hear the noise."  

The Sheriff's deputies are also encouraging people to plan their driving around the upcoming construction zones. Three big projects will be taking place in the area of Hollister Ave. and Highway 217 including new roundabouts and a bridge replacement.

Sgt. Noel Rivas said, "one of the things drivers should be aware of is that , this is going to last three years,  so if you are going to work, give yourself extra time and think of another routes to get you to work and the same thing when you get off work.  Keep in mind the drive time is going to extend a little bit so think about a different route."


Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Coffee with a Cop
santa barbara county sheriff's office
theft prevention

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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