SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday, July 23 that a Montecito home owned by daytime TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi was burglarized on July 4.

Police believe the resident was targeted “due to the victim’s celebrity status.” Stolen items from the home are described as “high value jewelry and watches.”

In a news release, the Sheriff’s Office said “detectives and forensics technicians have been conducting an extensive and on-going investigation.”

“The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is in contact with other law enforcement agencies to determine if this is related to additional recent celebrity home burglaries.”

In January of 2019, Benjamin Eitan Ackerman, 32, was arrested in connection to burglaries of a number of celebrity-owned properties in the Hollywood Hills area in 2017. More than 2,000 stolen items were recovered during the investigation, LAPD detectives said.

Along with the announcement, the Sheriff’s Office offered advice for residents on precautions that can be taken to avoid burglaries.

Refraining from social media posts that let the public know “that you are away on vacation,” and leaving lights or a television are among police’s suggestions. 

Residents who are out of town are encouraged to inform the Sheriff’s Office of their absence at (805) 681-4100, so police can provide extra patrol or premises check. 

Making arrangements for mail delivery not to accumulate and informing neighbors are also helpful, police said.

Anyone with suspect information is encouraged to call Detective Daniel Kohli at (805)-681-4150.