Charles Armstrong

Charles Armstrong

A Santa Barbara parolee was arrested in the alleged theft of a chainsaw from a Milpas Street business Friday.

Santa Barbara police Lt. James Pfleging said an employee of A-OK Mower Shop, 14 N. Milpas St., flagged down two bicycle police officers about 2:30 p.m. Friday. The employee told the officers that witnesses had seen a man run out of the store with a chainsaw after he had entered and said he was looking to buy one.

Pfleging said the chainsaw was found hidden in a hedge near the store and the suspect — later identified as Charles Armstrong, 44 — was located outside a bagel shop down the street.

Police said Armstrong denied the theft and insisted that he had not been inside the business. Officers reviewed the store’s surveillance video and, according to Pfleging, Anderson could be seen taking a chainsaw from the premises.

Armstrong was found to be in possession of prescribed medication without a prescription and it also was determined that he was on parole with prior convictions for felony theft, Pfleging said.

Parole officers were contacted and Armstrong was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of commercial burglary, possession of prescription drugs and a parole violation.

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Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at, and follow him on Instagram: @bill.macfadyen. The opinions expressed are his own.