Ought you park your car in Santa Maria?

November 14, 2014

car-theft-612nm022311An average day in Santa Maria ends with at least two car thefts, according to numbers provided by the city’s police department. [KSBY]

Santa Maria far outpaces other Central Coast cities in car thefts, and the crime is occurring at an increasing rate. Last year, more auto thefts occurred in Santa Maria than in all other Central Coast cities combined, ranging from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles.

Thieves stole a total of 730 vehicles in the Northern Santa Barbara County city in 2013, and they have swiped even more in the first eight months of 2014. Santa Maria’s car theft total in 2011 was just 264.

Santa Barbara police documented the second highest amount of car thefts in the area last year, but that figure only reached 128. The city of San Luis Obispo led its county with 63 carjackings in 2013.

“We do have a lot of vehicles stolen,” said Santa Maria Police Officer Alex George. However, we do have most of them recovered.”

George has gained notoriety for his ability to locate stolen vehicles. Since he began keeping track of the statistics in 2006, George has recovered more than 550 stolen vehicles. He found 100 in one year alone.

Older Honda Civics and Accords are the most popular targets for Santa Maria thieves, George said. Most of the vehicles stolen are taken at night from city streets.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I recall seeing signs posted in SM that proclaimed, ” Santa Maria Americas City”….. I had to chuckle as I looked around. I would love to know what the percentage of insured drivers is

It’s the “All-America City Award”. Once I saw that ghetto Porterville in the Central Valley was also an “All-America City”, I researched it and found out about the program.

I think Santa Maria needs to readdress their problems and try to obtain that award again!


Ive seen accidents in SM where after the crash both drivers ran in opposite directions.. both bleeding… only to leave 2 unregistered, smoldering cars in the middle of the road..

Most of my friends wont go to SM now because of the hit and run stats.. you get hit.. they run and you will never find them because the car is unregistered..

Ive tried selling a car in SM and it was non-opped.. if it had at least 6 months left on the reg it would be easier because the locals will buy it and never register it.. drive it until its expired and then sell it cheap to someone who wants to take the risk of getting stopped by the police.

Ive been in traffic on the main arteries in SM and seen cars that havent been registered since 2009/10.

and nothing ever happens.

Just the way The Tea Party, Etta Waterfield and Lynn Compton want it. Bitch about the “Messicans” who are 85% of Santa Maria but enjoy the profits from the illegal labor and oppose the middle class, whose wages peaked in 1974 and have been dropping since.

Remember, Santa Maria is a sanctuary City. Su casa mi casa, su coche mi coche! They just borrow them because they don’t have driver’s license. Everything will be made right starting in January when they can licenses and 5 million get legal work permits.

Does anyone seriously think that the illegals are gonna head down to the DMV in Jan to get licenses??

They dont care at all..

The line isn’t at the DMV, its at the social security office.

This doesn’t include the huge number of cars stolen from illegal immigrants by police officers.

You’re talking about dui stops where people driving without driver’s licenses have their cars impounded–well, now the illegal drivers can get their cars back, and in January illegals can get driver’s licenses. Or are you talking about the unregistered cars abandoned after hit and run accidents? Or the non running unregistered cars left on the streets for the city to haul away?

I resent your statement that police( in general) are stealing cars from illegal immigrants. This likely happened in King City, but not elsewhere as far as I know.

Apparently you’re not aware of the practice of illegally pulling over cars with unlicensed drivers solely based on the suspicion that the driver is unlicensed, and the kick backs set up with the tow and storage lots.

mkaney, yes I have heard of these evil tactics. These officers are making a million dollars off of these 500 dollar cars that are being towed. The police are lving in mansions in SLO , I also heard they opened a car lot up and they have officers working part-time as used car dealers.

Mckaney wait until you get hit by one and you have to fork out your own money to fix your car. Smarten up!

I have been hit by one! And of course he ran. But some friends of mine on dirtbikes caught up with him and he was arrested. So here’s where it gets interesting. The DA calls me in and I was very direct and confirmed that he was illegal. The DA insists that since he has a prior on driving without registration he’s going to prosecute him to the max. I suggest that if he does that, the guy is just going to run back to Mexico, possibly leaving his wife and young child behind and causing great turmoil. Nobody would win in this scenario, not even the DA. I suggest that instead, he bring the guy in and we meet directly and work out some way that prosecution could be skipped, and he would make small payments over a period of time to at least compensate part of my expenses.

The DA refuses, insists the he must enforce the law, and the guy skips the country. So when someone wants you to have a more negative view of someone else, all they need to do is wait until that person messes up and then create a situation where no agreement or compromise could ever be reached between you and that person (who may be well intended).

You still think I really need to smarten up like some naive libtard? I’m not suffering from white liberal guilt, rather I have a clear understanding that there’s more than meets the eye to problems, and bureaucracy is often a big part of a problem which could be a lot smaller.

And BTW.. we were talking about Santa Maria, but if you want to talk about SLO, then the police ARE living high on the hog and if you want to argue this point we can just go to the state controller’s payroll records. Want to do that?

Yeah, I DO know

Are you kidding me? Have you ever been hit by someone that has no ID..no insurance? You think the police are making bank on those car tows, well I then have bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

Who is paying for all those that cause damage by driving without insurance or proper training & licensing? Just take a look at your insurance bill & then look in the mirror…it is you my friend….and me.

Just another hidden cost for the cheap labor that our manufacturers, farmers, vintners and yes, homeowners hire to do back-breaking, hard, dirty, and hazardous jobs for us.

Yes I have.. read my response above to commenter udontknow and see if that doesn’t make you think about this issue at least a little differently.

oops on the 65-…it’s an error due to fat fingers.

65-SLO did not have 63 “carjackings” as the article states. They were stolen cars. There’s a big difference.