At approximately 2:30 p.m. on October 11, 2018, a resident in the 100 block of Walnut Avenue discovered two packages had been stolen from his front porch with assistance of security cameras on his residence. Yesterday, October 30, 2018, deputies were able to identify the suspect as being 44-year-old Guillermo Gomez of Santa Barbara. Deputies located and arrested Gomez at his residence in the City of Santa Barbara. Gomez was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail for a violation of California Penal Code Section 488 – Petty Theft and 496 – Possession of Stolen Property. He is being held on $2,500 bail. Fortunately, deputies were able to recover the stolen property and return it to the victim.
As the Holiday Season approaches, many will do their holiday shopping online. To ensure safe delivery of your packages and keep them out of the hands of thieves, follow these security tips:
- Set up alternative delivery/pickup options through your local delivery services. Whether the majority of your packages are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx, each offers alternative delivery and pickup options. For example, UPS has an expanding Access Point network that provides for delivery and pickup of packages at local grocery or convenience stores in various neighborhoods. Let the delivery company know when you will be home.
- Discourage thieves from targeting your residence with a few strategic home security devices. Home surveillance cameras can be effective crime deterrents. Your home security cameras should be prominently displayed where potential criminals can see them, yet high enough to prevent them from being tampered with. Outdoor security lighting and a home alarm system can also be effective crime deterrents.
- Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles and subjects in your neighborhood. Putting a stop to package theft and residential burglaries is a team effort. Talk to your neighbors and encourage everyone to keep an eye out for suspicious activity (an individual or vehicle following a delivery truck, a stranger removing a package from outside a residence, etc). Please report suspicious activity to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office by calling 911. If you need to report a theft which occurred earlier, you may go to https://www.sbsheriff.org to file an online report or call our non-emergency number at (805) 681-4100.