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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 8:29 am | Fair 49º


Suspect Arrested in Spate of Auto Burglaries

A sheriff's deputy on patrol in El Encanto Heights confronts a man with burglary tools, suspect items in car.

A sharp-eyed sheriff’s deputy patrolling Goleta’s El Encanto Heights arrested a suspect in a string of South Coast auto burglaries early Tuesday.

Christopher Berry
Christopher Berry
Deputy Jason Vasquez was on routine patrol near San Blanco and San Milano drives, north of Calle Real, about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when he spied a man sitting suspiciously in a car. After approaching the man, Vasquez noticed several items commonly used as burglary tools as well as a number of items matching the descriptions of those taken in recent auto burglaries.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars said the suspect, Christopher Berry, 19, of Santa Barbara, eventually admitted to stealing items from several unlocked vehicles in the Goleta and Santa Barbara areas. In a later interview with detectives, Sugars said, Berry admitted to four thefts on the previous night. During a search of Berry’s residence, detectives located more items suspected of being stolen property.

Berry was booked into County Jail for possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and felony vandalism. The investigation remains open and bail has been set at $20,000.

“This is a significant arrest due to the recent auto burglaries during the holiday season,” said sheriff’s Lt. Sol Linver of the Criminal Investigations Division. “Of the more than $1,200 worth of stolen property, such as iPods and GPS systems, many were stolen from unlocked vehicles.

“The Sheriff’s Department would like to remind people to lock their vehicles to secure their personal items.”

To report a theft or to inquire about the investigation, call 805.681.4100.

Write to [email protected]

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