Neighbors in a Las Positas-area neighborhood got an early wake-up call Thursday when SWAT Team officers responded to a home to arrest a man suspected of armed robbery but who refused to come out of his home.
Travis Rosenblatt, 35, was arrested after 2½ hours of refusing to exit a home at 1400 Las Positas Road, according to Kelly Hoover of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.
Around 5 a.m. Thursday, the county's Special Enforcement Team surrounded a home to serve an arrest and search warrant for Rosenblatt.
"We received new DNA evidence that linked the suspect to an armed robbery at the Mobil gas station on Las Positas in February 2013," Hoover said.
Investigators determined that Rosenblatt was at the home, and on Thursday morning, officers made an announcement for the man to come out of the home.
Several tenants who lived in the residence came out and were evacuated safely, Hoover said.
"However, the suspect refused to come out of home," she said, and several announcements for Rosenblatt to exit were issued, and distraction devices such as flash-bang guns were used.
A reverse 9-1-1 call was sent to residents in the area notifying them that the Sheriff’s Office was conducting an operation and instructed them to stay inside their homes.
After 2½ hours of negotiation, Rosenblatt exited the home and was arrested without incident.
No gunshots were fired, and the suspect did not have weapons, she said.
Hoover said Rosenblatt's DNA from the initial scene at the Mobil station had been turned over to a Department of Justice lab, which identified him as the suspect.
In the incident, Hoover said Rosenblatt had used a knife to slash the gas station clerk's tires as well as using the weapon to cut the electrical cord to a cash register, which was smashed on the ground and money taken from inside.
"This is a great example of when you think a suspect may have gotten away with a crime, a year later, DNA evidence enabled us to pinpoint who this person was and make an arrest," she said.
Rosenblatt had previously been convicted of committing a bank robbery in the city of Santa Barbara in 2006, Hoover said.
On Thursday, Rosenblatt was charged with armed robbery and was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on $500,000 bail.