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Suspected Gang Member Walks Into Police Station with Concealed Knives

The 19-year-old man also is accused of possessing an iPod stolen from a Summerland business

Santa Barbara detectives arrested a man Thursday after he walked into the police department carrying four concealed knives.

Oscar Bello Torres
Oscar Bello Torres

On Oct. 8, two detectives contacted several gang members and/or associates at Eastside Neighborhood Park, 1200 E. Yanonali St.

Oscar Bello Torres, 19, was cited for possession of an opened beer. He had an iPod in his possession, but was vague about how he got it.

Torres consented to the detectives taking temporary custody of the iPod to determine whether it was stolen. After Torres walked away, the detectives found a 12-inch knife partially underneath a vehicle, where Torres had been standing. The detectives seized the knife.

At the police department, the iPod was traced as stolen on Sept. 20 from a business in Summerland. The knife was examined by forensic technician Mike Ullemeyer. He recovered a fingerprint that matched Torres’ left hand.

At 3:40 p.m. Thursday, Torres went into the police department to claim the iPod. A detective discovered Torres carrying four more knives hidden under his shirt, all of which were double-edged and designed for throwing or stabbing. Torres had modified a leather sheath to carry the weapons in his front waistband.

Under questioning, Torres admitted ownership of the original knife and to believing that the iPod was stolen when he possessed it.

Torres was arrested and faces two counts of possession of an illegal knife, possession of stolen property and committing the crimes in furtherance of a known street gang.

Santa Barbara policeLt. Paul McCaffrey is a department spokesman.

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