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Police Arrest Gang Member with History of Auto Burglary

Santa Barbara police arrested a gang member on Wednesday suspected of conducting a prolific number of auto burglaries, after the man allegedly tampered with a vehicle on State Street. 

Cameron Lee Hadighi

Cameron Lee Hadighi, 25, of Santa Barbara was arrested on misdemeanor charges of vehicle tampering and prowling after he was seen making entry into an unlocked vehicle early Wednesday morning, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood.

At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for burglary and was arrested twice last year on burglary charges.  Police said that Hadighi is a Santa Barbara area gang member.

At 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, officers responded to a call of a suspicious subject attempting to make entry into a parked vehicle in an alley behind businesses on the north side of the 3000 block of State Street, Harwood said.

Hadighi fled the scene as officers arrived, and a nearby business manager reported that he had heard someone running on the roof of his business.

Officers formed a perimeter around the building and called the fire department to respond with a ladder. 

After about a half-hour, as officers were preparing to climb onto the roof, Hadighi made his presence known, Harwood said, and was taken into custody without further incident.

The victim of the vehicle tampering was contacted and identified Hadighi as the person who made entry into his truck.

The victim stated that he was at work when he observed Hadighi open the unlocked driver’s side door of his vehicle and start to go inside, Harwood said. The victim confronted Hadighi, after which Hadighi left the scene. The truck was undamaged and nothing had been stolen.

Hadighi was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail with a bail amount of $2,500. He was also booked on a no-bail detainer for violation of probation. 

Hadighi was previously arrested in January 2012 for stealing an iPad from a downtown home, which the victim tracked to Hadghi's Cheltenham Road home. When detectives responded to the home, Hadighi admitted to stealing the Ipad and acknowledged that other stolen property was in his room. 

An investigation determined that Hadighi was responsible for five auto burglaries, a theft from an unlocked vehicle, and an attempted auto theft. Hadighi is suspected of committing as many as forty auto burglaries in Santa Barbara over a two-month period.

In April 2012, Hadighi was arrested for burglary after two vehicles on Helena Avenue were found with their windows smashed and pocket change and wine bottle opener stolen from them.  Hadighi attempted to flee, but was taken into custody and placed in a  secure police car, where police said he spit on an officer through a security screen and kicked out the rear window of the car.

He was strapped to a gurney and transported to Cottage Hospital Emergency Room before being booked in jail for two felony counts of burglary and the misdemeanors of resisting or delaying an officer, battery on a peace officer, vandalism and violation of probation.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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