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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 8:09 pm | Fair 59º


Santa Barbara Police Log: ATM Withdrawals Traced to Suspect

Other cases include a squatter secretly living in a campus room

Thefts, fraud, an assault and a squatter were among cases handled by Santa Barbara Police Department personnel in the past week:

» On Nov. 8, a 23-year-old woman reported her wallet was stolen while she was riding the bus. In her wallet was an ATM card with the PIN written on a piece of paper. The same day, unauthorized withdrawals were made on her account. An officer determined that the withdrawals were all made in Santa Barbara, mostly along Milpas Street. Several were made at a liquor store.

An officer obtained security video photos showing the suspect making withdrawals. The store clerk recognized the suspect as a frequent customer who recently had applied for a job. With a name and address, the officer had no problem locating the suspect. At 7:55 a.m. Nov. 9, the 38-year-old man was arrested for burglary, fraudulent use of an ATM card and a parole violation.

» At noon Nov. 9, an officer responded to a residence in the 1200 block of Cacique Street on a citizen call of a prowler. Upon arrival, the male resident was detaining the suspect, a 23-year-old male, by sitting on him. It turned out the neighbor who witnessed the break-in was the victim’s aunt. She called the victim at his workplace and then called 9-1-1.

Accompanied by a co-worker, the victim returned home to find the suspect walking away wearing his designer jeans and two of his shirts. The victim tackled the suspect and held him until police arrived. The suspect had entered the residence through a small side window. In addition to this theft, he admitted committing a theft to the same residence a few months before. In that earlier case, several changes of clothing were stolen. He was booked for two counts of residential burglary.

» At 10:05 p.m. Wednesday, an officer investigated three men in the parking lot of a closed business at 200 Helena St. One man, 40 years old, was on parole and subject to search provisions. Police found a crack pipe in his backpack and suspected meth in his wallet. The suspect had a Trek 7.2 fx bicycle in the bushes; it was traced as stolen from a Santa Barbara residential burglary in August 2008. He was arrested for possession of stolen property, a parole violation, drug and paraphernalia possession, and being under the influence of narcotics.

» At 10:20 a.m. Thursday, an officer responded to the Brooks Institute of Photography campus on a call of suspicious circumstances. A week before, employees discovered a room dead-bolted with a lock that didn’t belong to the school. They forced entry and discovered evidence of someone living in the room, including clothing, hygiene products, damp washcloths and other personal items. On Thursday, they found a room normally unlocked that was dead-bolted from the inside. They heard noises, but no one would answer or open the door. When officers arrived, employees forcibly removed the lock and out came the suspect, a 40-year-old male. He said he has been secretly living at the school for three weeks. He was arrested for vandalism and trespassing.

» At 3 p.m. Thursday, a detective arrested a male for forging and cashing two payroll checks for $575. The employee payee had reported his two checks missing from his workplace at a De La Vina Street restaurant. Officers traced the checks as deposited into the suspect’s personal bank account. He was booked for two counts of forgery, burglary, conspiracy and grand theft.

» At 12:20 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to Plaza Del Mar Park on an assault case. The incident involved homeless people who frequent the park. According to witnesses, the incident began the night before when the suspect, a 24-year-old male, was caught stealing a pint bottle of whiskey from the backpack of a woman transient. As a consequence, he was beat up by some of the men. He fled the campsite, leaving his possessions behind.

On Sunday, the man returned to retrieve his things. When he asked where his things were, everyone said they didn’t know, even though some of them did. He became angry and attacked three men, all of whom appeared to the officers to be intoxicated. The suspect kicked and punched them all, inflicting minor injuries to their heads and upper bodies. He was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon (kicking with his boots). One victim was treated at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and the other two declined medical aid.

— Paul McCaffrey is a lieutenant with the Santa Barbara Police Department.


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