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GOTCHA! for the Week of Dec. 5

Authorities suspect a mountain lion left a 2-foot-wide pool of fresh blood from prey on a Romero Canyon Road driveway.

Into the Wild

After fetching their newspaper on the morning of Dec. 2, a Romero Canyon Road couple contacted authorities upon discovering a pool of blood in their driveway. Still wet, as described by the female caller, the 2-foot-wide pool of blood appeared fresh.

On the scene, deputies called for additional support from other agencies including Santa Barbara Search and Rescue and the Montecito Fire Department. A blood-tracking dog brought to the scene led investigators to a nearby creek bed where the K-9 made two discoveries: a buried dead raccoon and, further up the path, a dead coyote.

Although unconfirmed, the buried prey is indicative behavior of a mountain lion, authorities say.

With adequate evidence collected, the Fire Department responding to Romero Canyon washed the large pool of blood from the driveway.

Another Roadside Attraction

Deputies with the Carpinteria Sheriff’s Department, assisting in a vehicle pursuit on Highway 101 at midnight Nov. 30, recovered two items possibly thrown from the speeding car by the suspects.

Located on the roadside, the loaded handgun and a pipe used to smoke methamphetamines were collected and booked as evidence.

The four subjects were apprehended inside the car near Mussel Shoals when the vehicle was disabled from a CHP spike strip. They were then transported to jail.

And By the Way ...

Unable to see the driver’s license plate, a deputy patrolling East Mountain Drive and San Ysidro Road at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 30 conducted a routine stop.

The distinct odor of burnt marijuana wafted out the window as the driver was questioned. Further investigation indicated both the driver and his passenger were parolees with suspended licenses.

A glass pipe found in the driver’s shoe during a property search was confiscated and booked as evidence. Both men were arrested and transported to jail.

Looter in the Locker Room

While the Carpinteria High School All-Female Water Polo Team practiced at the community pool, a suspect was rifling through their belongings in the locker room. Returning to their cubbies after practice at 3:45 p.m. Nov. 29, the victims discovered their misfortune.

A hoard of items stolen included wallets, purses, an iPod, schoolbooks and a pair of stained Ugg boots.

Stopping Progress

A construction crew in Summerland surmises the man workers have seen on numerous occasions leaving the restaurant restoration project in the early morning could be the same person stealing tools and materials. Over the course of several months, a drill, a skill saw and boxes of floor tiles have gone missing.

Despite an effort to locate the man who is also believed to be sleeping in the construction zone, a deputy was unable to find the subject at the Pierpont Street location at 6:45 a.m. on a recent morning.

The suspect is wanted for burglary.

Home for the Holiday

An estimated $5,000 worth of typical, but pricey, dorm room items, including iPods, laptops, cameras and even a few pairs of socks and underwear, went missing from a private school while the students were away for Thanksgiving break. The shocking discovery of ransacked dorm rooms was made as the female students at the private secondary school returned to campus on Nov. 26.

A building inspection indicated no forced point of entry. No fingerprints could be lifted from the scene.

Made of Steel

Responding to an industrial injury at 1400 Cravens Lane Nov. 27, a medical team was already tending to the “downed truck driver” when deputies arrived on the scene. The injured man, 41, had been unloading equipment from his semi-truck when a pallet fell on him. The victim’s head struck the concrete when he was knocked to the ground.

While nobody saw the incident occur, other employees heard a loud crashing noise and ran to his aid. Upon finding their co-worker unconscious, they called 9-1-1.

After regaining consciousness, the man declined further medical attention.

The Big Bully

An ongoing problem with an uncle living on shared property with his aging father and nephew in Carpinteria escalated recently when the intoxicated uncle retrieved a BB gun from his bedroom during another altercation.

The uncle had calmed down by the time deputies arrived on the scene, but his relatives signed a citizens’ arrest form because they were fed up with his uncontrollable behavior. Apprehending the 46-year-old inside his bedroom, deputies also seized the BB rifle.

During his arrest for battery, the subject admitted pushing his relatives and waving the gun around to “scare” people, but said he only uses the gun to “shoot squirrels.”

Everything but the Sink

Turning off the water supply and tripping the ground fault, a thief disassembled and removed two chrome automatic water faucets from inside a women’s restroom at a local flower farm.

The theft, totaling more than $800, occurred sometime between Nov. 21 and Nov. 26.

The thief dismantled the pricey fixtures without damaging the sink.

Slim pickings

Entering through an unlocked barn, and forcing open a locked office door, a burglar gained access to loose cash left in a desk. Most likely hoping for a cache more abundant, the burglar of the Via Real wholesale nursery fled the scene with just under $20.

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