Theft spree along East Cliff Drive has some residents on high alert

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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A recent spree of theft has residents along East Cliff Drive looking for way to keep their belongings safe. Santa Cruz Police say one of the most helpful things is for neighbors to stay vigilant and report suspicious activity.

Some people noting how casually thieves have become when stealing. Dafna Brown, who lives near Seabright State Beach says, “they were on BMX bikes just hanging out and just trying the car doors as they rode around nonchalantly." 

She's lived in the Seabright area for five years and thinks one reason could be lack of consequences for those committing the crimes, "there’s no real repercussions for people behaving badly. We had a rash of cars getting broken into about three years ago, and now with next-door we see that a lot of other people are having their stuff stolen, broken into.”

Brown says while they do have a neighborhood watch program, that can only do so much, “we do we watch out for our neighbors, but um i mean we can say who they are maybe after the fact, but I don’t know if we can actually stop them."

Some people have opted to getting security cameras installed. Santa Cruz Police say they can be useful when identifying suspects. Lieutenant Bernie Escalante says "they’ve been very helpful for us. I would suggest when they look at a system they look at a high quality system that works both day and night and provides a quality photo.”

Lt. Escalante says while they might not stop all thieves, they can even be a deterrent, "if the cameras are visible and people notice them they might pick a different location or take their activity elsewhere.”

Santa Cruz resident, Wyatt Weathers, says he plans to get a security system for his mom. He says she is elderly and can't always get to the door when someone rings the doorbell. Weathers says having a camera will give her another layer of security, "it would give her a heightened sense of security so I'm going to have to get one for sure."

Police say if you see a crime in progress call 911 immediately, if you want to report something that happened in the past call their non-emergency line.

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