A slew of shoplifting calls were among the incidents handled by the Santa Barbara Police Department in the past several days.
» At noon Thursday, a 29-year-old man was arrested for forgery, burglary and financial elder abuse. The man, an unlicensed care provider, was suspected of forging and cashing checks from two victims, ages 77 and 79. The confirmed loss was $1,600.
» At 3 p.m. Thursday, a 21-year-old man was arrested for a parole violation stemming from an incident at 10:40 p.m. Oct. 10, when officers drove up on a disturbance at 500 Anacapa St. Three men were yelling and flashing gang signs at two men in a pickup truck.
» At 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Nordstrom store security detained a 38-year-old man for stealing a $70 pair of Armani sunglasses. The man protested and threatened to sue. The responding police officer viewed the store’s security video, which showed the suspect putting the sunglasses in a bag and walking out of the store. The suspect was arrested for felony theft with prior theft convictions and parole violation.
» At 5:40 p.m. Thursday, a citizen flagged a passing police car to report a disturbance at 700 W. Arrellaga St. Officers saw a 42-year-old man run down a driveway and into a house. Officers determined that the suspect, who had been drinking, was just about to start fighting with other men before police arrived. A list of parole terms and conditions in the suspect’s back pocket included an order to abstain from alcohol, and he was arrested for a parole violation.
» At 4:30 p.m. Friday, store employees at Mountain Air Sports, 14 State St., called police to report a shoplifter. An employee had seen a 50-year-old man stuff a sleeping pad under his shirt. Two employees detained the suspect after he walked out without paying. The suspect also had two pairs of pants hidden under his shirt. He was arrested for felony theft with prior theft convictions.
» At 6:50 p.m. Friday, officers responded to a group disturbance near the playground at Chase Palm Park. One person was cited for having an open container of alcohol. Another, a 37-year-old woman who appeared intoxicated, was arrested for a warrant charging violation of probation stemming from drug use.
» At 7:30 a.m. Saturday, a homeless man reported being attacked by a homeless woman armed with a screwdriver at the parking lot area of First Garden Street. The woman accused the man of damaging her bicycle and repeatedly swung a screwdriver at him. While backing up to dodge the thrusts, a screwdriver thrust punctured his left palm. A witness reported to police that the victim had done nothing to merit the attack. A 65-year-old woman was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.
» At 12:40 p.m. Saturday, an employee of Scolari’s Store at 222 N. Milpas St. reported a shoplifting. A shirtless man had fled with a shopping basket full of food and liquor. An officer Gaston found a 37-year-old man tucked behind businesses a block away. The suspect, shirtless, was eating chicken from the shopping basket. The stolen victuals totaled $88. The man was arrested for burglary-shoplift and felony theft with prior theft convictions.
» At 5 p.m. Saturday, store security at the same Scolari’s detained a 58-year-old man for stealing a three-pack of beer. The suspect had been arrested for theft from the store in March. He was arrested for shoplift-burglary and a warrant stemming from a drug violation.
» At 8 p.m. Saturday, an 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old juvenile entered the Chevron Mini-Mart at 401 W. Montecito St. As the juvenile stood by the door, the man went to the beer cooler, pulled out an 18-pack and tried to walk out without paying. To his surprise, the door was locked and he couldn’t leave. The clerk, upon spotting the man entering the business, recognized him as committing a beer-run theft a week earlier. The clerk locked the suspect and the juvenile inside the store and called police. The man told responding officers that he entered to purchase a candy bar, but the store’s security video showed him taking the beer from the cooler. He was arrested for shoplift-burglary. The juvenile was cited and released.
» At 6:15 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to 2024 De la Vina St. on a call of a vandalism. A man was using a hammer to break out windows to the Fielding Institute. Officers found a 57-year-old man walking at 1900 Chapala St. with a hammer in his hand. The suspect said he was angry because earlier that morning someone had pointed a red laser at him. Ten hours later, he returned with the hammer and vandalized the location he thought the laser might have come from. The damage was estimated at several hundred dollars. The suspect was arrested for vandalism. Police found no corroborating connection between the suspect, a laser or the institute’s premises.
— Paul McCaffrey is a lieutenant with the Santa Barbara Police Department.