Home of DeGeneres, de Rossi burglarized
MONTECITO — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that the Montecito home of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi was burglarized July 4.
Authorities said the home “appears to have been targeted due to the victim’s celebrity status.” Details on the items taken were not released, but were described as “high value jewelry and watches,” said Raquel Zick, sheriff’s spokeswoman.
Sheriff’s detectives and forensic technicians are conducting an extensive and ongoing investigation, she said.
In addition, the Sheriff’s Office is in contact with other law enforcement agencies to determine if the July 4 burglary is related to additional recent celebrity home burglaries.
Residents are advised to take precautions that can project their home and valuables, including avoiding social media posts that let people know that you are away on vacation or leaving lights or a TV on to give the appearance of someone being home, including the use of programmable lights.
While out of town, residents should make arrangements for mail delivery so it does not accumulate which would showcase no one is home, inform neighbors that you will be away and encourage them to report suspicious activity, or inform the Sheriff’s Office that you will be away so extra patrol can be provided.
Anyone with suspect information is encouraged to call Detective Daniel Kohili, at 805-681-4150.
— Mitchell White
Warning issued for catalytic converter thefts
GOLETA — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is issuing a warning over a rash of thefts of catalytic converters over the past week in the Goleta Valley.
Several thefts occurred overnight Monday or early Tuesday. The thefts occurred in the following areas: 300 block of Valdez, Armitos at Kellogg; 5200 block of San Simeon; 700 block of Walnut Lane; 6100 block of Stow Canyon; 6200 block of Momouth; 5000 block of Douglas; and the 500 block of Amherst, said Raquel Zick, sheriff’s spokeswoman.
The vehicles targeted included Ford trucks, a Chevrolet truck, and a Honda Element. Similar thefts have been reported in Ventura and Oxnard, Ms. Zick said.
“The theft of catalytic converters is popular because they can be easily removed, they do not have identifying marks like serial numbers, and the components are made up of precious metals that can be resold to recyclers,” she said.
Vehicle owners are encouraged to park inside their garage or secured yard, install motion detector lights near parking areas, install a catalytic converter protection device and educate neighbors to be on the lookout for thieves, Ms. Zick said.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking for any videos that may have captured the thefts. In addition, residents are encouraged to call dispatch immediately if they see suspicious subjects around or underneath vehicles. Sheriff’s dispatch can be reached at 805-683-2724 for non-emergency calls. Call 911 for emergencies, or leave an anonymous tip at www.sbsheriff.org.
— Mitchell White
Power shutdown planned in extreme fire conditions
LOMPOC — Lompoc electrical customers may experience planned power outages in the coming months during extreme fire danger conditions.
According to a city news release, Pacific Gas and Electric Company will turn off high-risk transmission lines if fire danger conditions threaten a portion of their electrical system.
“Lompoc’s electric energy is delivered over high voltage transmission lines that are owned by PG&E and jointly used by many California utilities, including Lompoc. Should PG&E shutdown their power lines, the city of Lompoc’s power would also be shut down,” the statement read.
City officials will provide updates on power outages on their media platforms.
To sign up for emergency alerts on power outages and other emergency notifications visit www.ReadySBC.org.
— Paul Gonzalez