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Spike in Crime in Santa Barbara's Mission Canyon

Published On: Aug 06 2014 06:40:05 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 12 2014 11:54:25 PM CDT

A quiet neighborhood in the Mission Canyon area is seeing a spike in crime.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

 A quiet, rural neighborhood in Mission Canyon is seeing a spike in crime.

"Something is definitely going on that is disturbing," said homeowner Victoria Smith.

People living near Cheltenham Road and Dorking Place say thieves are targeting homes and cars and they want to get the word out as residents leave for summer vacation.

Smith and her husband have given deputies a big lead in their investigation: The couple may have recorded images of the person who's terrorizing their neighborhood.

Their outdoor surveillance camera captured images early Tuesday morning of someone wearing shorts, a white, long-sleeved shirt, a small, floppy hat and gloves, trying to break into their truck.

"At the time when the guy was still here, did you see him?" NewsChannel 3 asked. "No, no. It was 1:30 a.m. and everybody was asleep," Smith said.

Smith said that was just one in a series of recent incidents in the rural area.

Residents living along Dorking say crime has really ramped up over the past month. One woman's cellphone was stolen out of her car; a man across the street came home to a shattered window and discovered someone had stolen cash from his home.

Lynn Brocoff said thieves are also targeting something else: mailboxes.

"I've personally had a check that I mailed down to Orange County cashed up here locally," Brocoff said.

I asked Smith if she thought she recognized the person in the images.

"No," Smith said. "I kind of think it could be a girl. A woman. Young girl, wearing a scarf with skinny wrists."

Santa Barbara County sheriff's spokesperson Kelly Hoover said deputies are investigating but they could use help from the public in identifying the person in the images.

"I've been here 25 years," Brocoff said. "This has been one of the safest areas in Santa Barbara, because we're so off the beaten track."

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