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City Workers Help Business Owner Detain Robbery Suspect

Santa Barbara police officers were called to a robbery about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kim 3 International Furnishings, on the first block of North Calle Cesar Chavez.

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Ray Charles Williams
As officers were responding, they received information that the female victim and the witnesses were chasing the suspect north on Calle Cesar Chavez. Officers then learned that witnesses had the suspect detained on the 400 block of East Yanonali Street. Ray Charles Williams, 55, was taken into custody by police.

According to police, the suspect went into the victim’s place of business on the first block of North Calle Cesar Chavez. He then found the victim’s purse and removed the wallet. The victim, unaware of what was happening, was alerted when she heard the door to her business slam shut.

The victim went to investigate and saw that the suspect was just outside her business. She asked him what he was doing and he responded that he was waiting for a “guy” from her business. She saw her purse on the floor and noticed her wallet was missing.

The victim exited her business, with her dog in hand, and confronted the suspect about her wallet. He denied involvement and tried to walk away. The victim saw her wallet on the suspect and grabbed him. He attempted to get away and began to punch at the victim. At that point, the victim was dragged north on Calle Cesar Chavez and yelled for help.

The suspect and the victim reached a fence near the intersection of Calle Cesar Chavez and Yanonali Street. The suspect began to go through a hole in the fence when the victim lost her grip on him.

Four Santa Barbara City workers heard the victim yelling for help and came to her aid. They watched as the suspect ran up the embankment and sat on the Highway 101 overpass, rifled through the wallet, took out money and then ran across all four lanes of the freeway.

One of the city workers paralleled the suspect on the opposite side of the freeway and watched him get off the freeway shoulder and head toward the creek near the 400 block of East Yanonali Street. The other city workers drove to the area of Yanonali Street, saw the suspect approach their location and detained him until officers arrived.

A search of the suspect revealed he had about $600 cash and drug paraphernalia on him.

Williams was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of robbery, burglary, animal cruelty and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.

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