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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 2:35 am | Fair 44º


Two Suspects Arrested in Weekend Burglaries

Over the weekend, patrol officers from the Santa Barbara Police Department arrested two suspected burglars in unrelated incidents.

Andre Michael Armendariz
Andre Michael Armendariz

At 8:44 p.m. Saturday, officers Jacob Finerty and Dustin McGrew were dispatched to the vicinity of the intersection of Anacapa Street and Gutierrez Street on a call of an intoxicated man lying on the sidewalk next to a bicycle.

Upon arrival, they located Andre Michael Armendariz, 21, of Santa Barbara, passed out in the 100 block of East Gutierrez Street. Armendariz was heavily intoxicated and had a laceration behind his right ear.

Concerned that Armendariz might have fallen while riding the bicycle, paramedics were summoned and he was transported to Cottage Hospital’s Emergency Room for medical evaluation.

The officers became suspicious of Armendariz when they noticed that his bicycle was a ladies-style bike that had an expensive laptop computer in the basket, items not usually associated with drunken young men on the sidewalk. Their suspicion was further aroused when Armendariz provided them with a number of false names when questioned about his identity. Ultimately, the officers were able to determine Armendariz’s real name and discovered that he had an outstanding $20,000 felony warrant for his arrest for drug offenses.

Armendariz was arrested for the warrant and upon release from the hospital was taken to the Santa Barbara Police Department, where the investigation continued.

Officers Finerty and McGrew discovered that the bicycle Armendariz was found with, along with the computer in the basket, had been stolen in a commercial burglary earlier in the day to a business in the 400 block of Laguna Street. Armendariz acknowledged participating in that crime with a companion.

Additionally, Armendariz was found to be in possession of three identification cards that did not belong to him; items the officers discovered came from wallets stolen from participants in the Isla Vista Deltopia event approximately one week earlier.

While at SBPD, Armendariz vandalized an interview room. At the conclusion of the investigation he was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail for the felonies of burglary and possession of stolen property; and the misdemeanors of vandalism and providing false information to a peace officer with a bail amount of $20,000. He was also booked on the aforementioned felony warrant.

Mario Alejandro Elias
Mario Alejandro Elias

At 2:51 p.m. Sunday, Officers Aaron Denbrook and Beth Lazarus responded to a call of a subject with a ladder breaking into a second story apartment in the 600 block of East Victoria Street. Upon arrival, Officer Lazarus contacted the suspect, Mario Alejandro Elias, 20, of unincorporated Santa Barbara, who was being detained by the apartment complex manager and a tenant there.

Officer Lazarus discovered that Elias had an outstanding $5,000. misdemeanor warrant for his arrest for DUI and arrested him. At the time she also noticed that he was displaying symptoms of being under the influence of drugs.

Investigation revealed that Elias, using a ladder, entered an apartment through a window and stole nearly $5,000 in cash, assorted prescription medication, and a small quantity of marijuana. The victim is an acquaintance of Elias who was out of town and whom Elias had texted earlier in the day to confirm that fact. The victim was aware that Elias is a drug addict and was not surprised to learn that Elias had burglarized his apartment. At SBPD, a controlled substance abuse examination was conducted on Elias and he was found to be under the influence of a combination of drugs.

Elias was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for the felonies of burglary and possession of a controlled substance; and the misdemeanors of being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana with a bail amount of $50,000. He was also booked on the aforementioned misdemeanor warrant.

— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.


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