Keep your valuables out of sight, be sure to lock your car, roll those windows up, say Santa Barbara Police Department property crimes detectives. Since October, the number of burglaries and thefts from cars has risen to heights unseen since mid 2013. The thefts are mainly occurring from unlocked cars with backpacks, purses, laptops, and other items left in plain sight, and the hits have taken place citywide on streets, driveways, carports, and parking lots.
Cars were cited in another statistic recently released by city police for 2014: injury accidents were up, with 570 accidents being the worst quantity in six years. And bicycle accidents were at their highest in the past few years, rising by 32 percent compared to 2012. Conversely, robberies decreased 30 percent compared to 2013, and residential burglaries were down 28 percent.
Among the calls flagged for study by the Police Department are those involving transients or gang incidents. A look at statistics since 2009 showed 2014 with the largest number of transient-related calls, 6,075 compared to a low in 2012 of 3,611. Gang incidents have been tracked since 2011, when the total was 169 compared to 44 in 2014.