Since the beginning of the current school year there have been several burglaries reported to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol where the suspect entered through an unlocked door or an open window. Most recently, a burglary occurred in the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive late Saturday night October 13, 2018. The suspect entered an occupied residence through an unlocked side door. Two people were home in a bedroom at the rear of the residence when this occurred. When another resident returned home from work and found the suspect, later identified as 20-year-old Marguan David Lara Mendoza of Goleta, in the residence, he confronted Lara Mendoza, who was in the process of stealing items in the living room. The resident and Lara Mendoza, became involved in a physical confrontation when the resident attempted to prevent Lara Mendoza from leaving with the stolen property. Lara Mendoza fled the residence prior to the arrival of law enforcement and was located nearly two hours later. He was arrested and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery. He is being held on $100,000 bail.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office wants to take this opportunity to remind our community members that burglary is a crime of opportunity. Here are some safety tips to help prevent becoming a victim of a burglary.
- * Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened. An open window or door is an open invitation for burglars. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws. All windows should have window locks.
- *Secure sliding glass doors by placing a metal rod or a wooden dowel rod in the track and install vertical bolts. This will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.
- *Always lock the door to an attached garage. Do not rely on your automatic garage door opener for security.
- *Create the illusion that you are home by using timers on lights to make your residence appear occupied, even when no one is home.
- *Keep the perimeter of your home well lit. Installing outdoor lighting is a good way to discourage intruders.
- *Never leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and deliveries while you are away. You can also ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place to make it appear that you are present. Be mindful of your social media and save the vacation photos until you are safely home.
- *Lastly, report all suspicious activity to law enforcement when it is occurring or as soon as possible.