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Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Taxi-Cab Holdups

Police arrested a man over the weekend on suspicion of holding up two taxi drivers at knife-point on two separate occasions in Santa Barbara.

Police arrested a man over the weekend on suspicion of holding up two taxi drivers at knife-point on two separate occasions in Santa Barbara.

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Ronald Lee Michalski, 39—who according to police sometimes goes by the name Levi Sky, and who had allegedly just gotten out of prison in mid-February—was arrested on suspicion of a parole violation and two counts of robbery and theft, said Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Dept.

The first incident occurred after midnight in the early hours of Monday, Feb. 24. Around 12:25 a.m., a taxi driver reported being robbed of $300 cash at knife-point by a rider wearing a black leather jacket and black baseball cap in the area of 500 East Yanonali Street, Duarte said in a statement. Prior to the robbery, Duarte said, the rider had identified himself as “Levi” to the cab driver.

The second incident happened on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 29. Around 5 a.m., a cab driver reported being robbed of $210 at knife-point in the area of 1100 East Yanonali Street by a rider who fled on foot. The rider then caught another taxi at the corner of Salinas and Cacique streets, Duarte said. Witnesses described the suspect as having worn the same black attire, and also reported that the culprit had a “milky” left eye.

An investigation led officers to believe that the suspect was Michalski, who lives in the trailer park on the 1200 block of Cacique Street, which is where the rider was picked up in the first incident.

“The investigation revealed that Michalski has an artificial left eye that his Parole Agent referred to as having a ‘glassy haze,’” Duarte said in a statement. “Officers conducted additional follow-up investigation at the Santa Barbara Police Department with the two taxi cab drivers. Both independently identified Michalski as the subject that robbed them at knife point.”

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