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Landlord Dario Pini Pleads Guilty to Trespassing, Faces $75 Fine

Santa Barbara landlord Dario Pini will face a $75 fine for a charge that was reduced to an infraction Friday morning after he pleaded guilty to one count of trespassing in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Pini, who owns hundreds of properties in Santa Barbara, was taken into custody March 22 after a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with a burglary that occurred earlier that week.

Pini faced felony burglary charges after he was allegedly seen taking construction materials off a downtown site, but had his charges reduced to misdemeanors from felonies in Superior Court last week.

Those were reduced even further to an infraction Friday.

“Upon a thorough analysis of the facts and the law in this case, and after determining the items in Mr. Pini’s possession were mostly construction scraps with very little or no value, the district attorney reduced the charges and accepted Mr. Pini’s plea as an infraction with a $75 fine as prescribed by law,” according to a statement issued from the District Attorney’s Office.

Neighbors of the property at 316 W. Carrillo St. reported that Pini was seen taking copper tubing, pipe fittings and coaxial cable from the site, where renovation work had begun. When a neighbor confronted Pini, he told the resident that he had permission to be there, but dropped items from the residence as he left the scene, police said.

Because the items amounted to a value of less than $50, the initial burglary charge was reduced to an infraction of trespassing, according to the statement.

Pini’s attorney, Josh Lynn, told Noozhawk on Friday that Pini was just trying to recycle the materials.

“The reality is he never stole anything and he doesn’t need to steal anything,” he said. “It’s almost like it was a felony recycling charge. ... He hates to see materials go to waste.

“Whatever it is that people have said that Mr. Pini has been as a landlord over the years, he’s not a thief.”

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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