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Santa Barbara Police Make Arrest in Parking Kiosk Robberies

Citizen tip leads detectives to suspect Paul Gerald Gradias of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara police detectives have arrested a suspect they believe is connected with the recent string of armed robberies at downtown parking lot kiosks, according to Lt. Paul McCaffrey.

Paul Gerald Gradias
Paul Gerald Gradias

Police identified the suspect on Wednesday as Paul Gerald Gradias, 49, a longtime Santa Barbara resident who recently lived in Washington.

McCaffrey said detectives obtained Gradias’ name from a citizen who viewed suspect photos distributed by the media. Enough corroborating evidence was obtained to arrest Gradias on suspicion of armed robbery.

Police spotted Gradias walking in the 1300 block of Salinas Place about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and arrested him without incident. They noted that he had cut his hair very short, different than shown in surveillance photos. Detectives searched the room of a hotel on State Street where Gradias has been staying and found evidence, but not the firearm used in the robberies, according to McCaffrey.

Gradias was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of armed robbery. Bail was set at $100,000.

The robberies occurred during the past two months at three downtown parking lots, according to McCaffrey.

“In each case, the suspect covered his face with a cloth, brandished a handgun and robbed the attendant at gunpoint,” he said.

After the incidents, detectives canvassed the area and obtained video from a nearby business location that showed the suspect with his face uncovered. The video was taken minutes before the most recent robbery on Feb. 21.

“Detectives investigated this lead and developed enough corroborating information to take this suspect into custody,” McCaffrey said.

He said the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office confirmed there was probable cause to make the arrest.

Anyone with more information about the kiosk robberies is asked to call Santa Barbara police detectives at 805.897.2355.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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