The Burglary Unit is responsible for the investigations of major thefts including all residential and commercial burglaries. The Burglary Unit also enforces laws to deter trafficking in stolen property. The definition of a burglary as described in the California Penal Code is as follows:
Burglary is punishable as follows:
- Burglary in the first degree: by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years.
- Burglary in the second degree: by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison.
The Burglary Unit at the Santa Barbara Police Department consists of one sergeant who supervises four investigators working active cases with viable leads. Property crimes can be a very busy place to work. If you have a case that is not being handled as quickly as you would like, there may be a reason. Feel free to contact the investigator who is handling your case by calling 897-2335. Be patient, your case is important to us and we will do our utmost to find out who is responsible and bring them to justice. It just may take some time. In the meantime, please read or print the burglary prevention tips below.
Burglary Prevention Tips
Burglaries in Santa Barbara neighborhoods cost residents thousands and thousands of dollars per year in loss of property alone. Most burglaries in your neighborhood are being committed by youths 18 and under. They are not skilled professionals, but they will take advantage of an easy target. Don't make it easy for them.
- Install a deadbolt lock.
Deadbolts are usually locked with a key from the outside and a thumb turn on the inside. The cylinder should be pick resistant. Lock your doors every time you leave the house, even if you're leaving for just a few minutes during the day. The most popular times for residential burglaries are weekday daylight hours. In many burglaries, there is no forcible entry--someone forgot to lock the doors.
- Install solid doors.
Outside doors should be metal or solid hardwood and at least 1 3/4 inches thick. Frames must be made of equally strong material and each door must fit its frame securely.
- Keep garage doors closed and locked at all times.
- Secure sliding doors and windows.
Cut a broom handle to the length of the bottom track so that the window or door will not slide open when forced. Also, drill one hole through both casings and sliding window and insert a nail or pin.
- Secure sash windows.
To prevent wooden sash windows from being pried open, drill a downward sloping hole into the top of the bottom window through and into the bottom of the top window and insert a pin or nail. To prevent aluminum sash windows from being broken into, purchase a track lock that blocks the window track.
- Mark your property.
Mark your valuables with an engraver. Use your driver’s license number. Marking your property serves as a deterrent to would-be burglars and it helps police in identifying and return stolen property. Make a property identification list. Put warning stickers on doors and windows.
- Purchase a burglar alarm.
A home alarm system can be a very effective burglary deterrent and fit into many people's needs. Remember to test your system monthly.
- Leave a light on.
When leaving on trips, leave a light on in the bathroom. In the bedroom, attach a lamp and radio to a 24-hour electric timer set to go on at dusk and off at your bedtime. Close bedroom drapes or blinds.
- Use proper exterior lighting.
Place a light over every door. Double cones lights on each corner of the house will also light up windows.
- Work together with your neighbors.
When you are going to be away, tell trusted neighbors and ask them to watch your property. Have neighbors maintain your yard. When on vacation, have someone cut grass. Shrubbery should not hide neighbors' view of windows or doors. Have someone pick up newspapers and mail. Tell neighbors to call police if they notice anything suspicious.
No one can make their home a fortress, but if you make your home just a little harder to gain access, you may deter criminals who are looking for an easy target.