Isla Vista confronts burglary plague

The Isla Vista Foot Patrol is spearheading a anti-robbery campaign.

ISLA VISTA – Santa Barbara county sheriff’s officials this week announced the “Stop Burglaries in Isla Vista” initiative to confront a recent rash of residential break-ins and property thefts in the community adjacent to the UC Santa Barbara campus.

According to sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars, the department’s Isla Vista foot patrol responded to more than 300 burglary reports in the densely-populated student enclave last year.

“Most of those involved unlocked points of entry,” Sugars said, “making campus housing a profitable target for crime.”

Lt. Ray Vuillemainroy of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol addressed the media on Tuesday, when the community coalition behind the program was announced.

“Locking doors and windows is the single most important thing you can do to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Law enforcement can’t do it alone,” he said, indicating that the concerted efforts of university students and administrative staff, Isla Vista business owners, county supervisors and local merchants were all behind the campaign kicking off this week.

With a new campaign logo featured on 75,000 stickers, 10,000 refrigerator magnets and in mass-mailings to all Isla Vista residents and business owners, the campaign is projected to create immediate awareness and widespread community support.

“If we can educate the public, we have a chance to turn the tide,” said Vuillemainroy.

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