Santa Barbara police officers were kept busy during the past 24 hours with the arrests of two men stemming from a weapons case and a peeping Tom case.
On Wednesday, detectives from the Youth Services section went to the residence of Jose Javier Torres, 18, in the first block of South Voluntario Street for a warrant stemming from a DUI case. Before knocking at the door, detectives saw a police-style metal baton lying inside a window sill. The detectives backed up, returned to the police station and obtained a search warrant.
At 5 p.m., detectives returned to the residence and arrested Torres for the original warrant. They recovered the baton and a fully loaded Glock 10mm handgun hidden under a mattress. Included were two additional fully loaded magazines and a holster. The gun’s serial numbers had been obliterated. The baton appears to belong to the U.S. National Parks Service.
Detectives are investigating how Torres came in possession of the items. He was arrested for possession of a firearm with an altered/removed serial number, possession of the baton weapon and for the DUI-related warrant.
In the second case, at 4:24 a.m. Thursday, a resident living in the 1600 block of Bath Street called 9-1-1 to report a subject prowling in the next-door neighbor’s backyard.
Officers coordinated a stealth approach from the north and south. They arrived to find a man standing on a garbage can, peering through a window into a woman’s residence. The suspect was arrested without incident. Antonio Velez, 30, of Oxnard was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of being a peeping Tom.
Detectives are investigating other reported cases of prowlers and peepers in the area.
— Paul McCaffrey is a lieutenant with the Santa Barbara Police Department.