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GOTCHA! for Week of Nov. 28

A local chiropractor is understandably bent out of shape when he finds out a man has used his identity while being booked into jail.

Mistaken Identity

Using a fake name, a man who’d taken on the persona of a local chiropractor hours after burglarizing his office, was arrested on a misdemeanor drug offense.

Originally contacted for “chasing vehicles in the street,” the subject believed to be under the influence of a narcotic was booked into jail at 1:30 a.m. Nov. 19.

Later that morning, upon finding his Santa Barbara practice ransacked, the innocent man with the same presumed name as the inmate contacted authorities.

According to the victim, an unknown burglar had entered his office stealing two credit cards and a driver’s license.

Making the correlation, a deputy re-contacted the inmate booked earlier. In an interview, the subject admitted climbing through the window and burglarizing the West Mission Street office.

“When I (steal) an ID,” the subject confirmed, “I become that person.”

Sad Discovery

According to the investigation, there were no signs of foul play regarding the woman, 54, found dead inside an inn on State Street.

After finding the woman incoherent in bed at 9 a.m. Nov. 11, the hotel manager called authorities.

Unsafe at Any Speed

Wearing a helmet lacking the Department of Transportation stamp of approval, and riding a motorcycle with a modified exhaust pipe, another possible offense, a rider was pulled over at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 24, on Highway 101 near Bates Road.

The subject, 43, who was asked if he had anything dangerous in his pockets, confirmed having a knife.

What he failed to disclose before the pat-down search were the six Vicodin pills also tucked into his trousers. Unable to prove he had a prescription for the pills, the man was arrested for possession of a suspected controlled substance and transported to jail.

SOS in the Sand

Upon finding the words “Help me please” scrawled into the sand on a recent Wednesday afternoon, a concerned beachcomber contacted authorities. Arriving on the scene, deputies investigating the suspicious message at Rincon Beach additionally noted a woman’s name imprinted in the sand.

Aside from a family of four fishing nearby, no other subjects were locatable.

With no leads, the report was filed as a suspicious circumstance.

New Twist for Cash on Delivery

A college student, a previous employee in the campus mailroom, is suspected of embezzlement. The suspect’s roommate made the initial discovery and turned over the evidence, including gift cards and unauthorized mail, to authorities.

During an interview with the18-year-old subject, she also admitted stealing birthday cards, credit cards and a laptop computer, all addressed to other students.

Much of the stolen property, including additional evidence, was seized from the suspect’s room before the Thanksgiving holiday recess.

Like Finding a Needle in a ...

Officers patrolling Santa Barbara downtown parking lots Nov. 14 met a man loitering with an open container of beer.

During contact, officers also noted a bulge in the subject’s front pocket. Inside the container, authorities uncovered four used syringes.

When asked about the needles, the subject said he found them “in a nearby trash can.” Booked as evidence, the syringes were confiscated and the subject cited on misdemeanor offenses.

Lost in Flight

Following his visit to Santa Barbara, a visitor from Arizona has contacted local authorities accusing airline agents of foul play. His laptop computer, the caller reported, went missing Nov. 4 from his checked luggage.

The computer is valued at $3,000.

Out of the Blue

Despite a unique description, deputies in Carpinteria were unable to locate the duo believed to have stolen a purse from a Casitas Pass Road gift shop employee.

Moments prior to the theft on Nov. 24, a man with “partially blue hair” and a female “carrying a bag of live goldfish” had been behaving suspiciously, and disruptively, inside the store. By the time the victim realized her purse was missing, the couple had left.

Inside the victim’s purse were money, credit cards and keys to her apartment.

In the Nick of Time

With the driver’s seat reclined and his engine still running, deputies contacted a man at 1:30 a.m. in the Carpinteria Amtrak parking lot along the 400 block of Linden Avenue. Lying motionless inside his vehicle, deputies initially had a difficult time waking the subject.

When the man finally awoke, he was questioned about the small cut on his wrist.

“I want to hurt myself,” the man slurred, adding that he’d already taken the sedative Valium.

Fearing the subject suicidal, a medical emergency team was called to the scene and transported the Nevada resident, 47, to Cottage Hospital.

Inside the vehicle, deputies discovered numerous prescription pills and a box of ammunition. In bushes adjacent to the vehicle, a pistol and additional ammunition were also found.

Man of Mystery

Refusing to leave Casitas Plaza in Carpinteria on Nov. 25, an ornery subject was contacted by patrolling deputies at 11:30 p.m. His speech slurred and smelling strongly of alcohol, the 30-year-old man had trouble walking as well.

Unable to care for himself, he was arrested for public intoxication.

Refusing to divulge his name, he said, “I will tell you my name at jail.”

And finally, as if playing a game with the arresting deputy, the intoxicated subject offered, “You tell me your first name and I will tell you mine.”

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