A two-state investigation led to the arrests of a man and woman Santa Maria police believe stole a safe with a large amount of money from an elderly victim’s home late last year.
On Dec. 28, officers were notified about a residential burglary involving a safe with money inside, Sgt. Jesus Valle said.
During the investigation, detectives identified two suspects, Julio Cesar Bautista, 21, and Jazmin Martinez, 21, both of Santa Maria.
On Feb. 14, detectives served search warrants at two residences in the city — one on the 400 block of East Central Avenue and the other on the 1600 block of North Surrey Drive, Valle said.
Bautista was arrested at his residence on East Central Avenue and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of residential burglary, grand theft, conspiracy and financial elder abuse.
His bail was set at $1 million, according to Valle.
Detectives discovered Martinez had fled to the Mesa, Arizona, area, leading to an arrest warrant for her.
With the help of the FBI, the U.S. Marshal’s Office and the Mesa Police Department, Martinez was taken into custody on Feb. 27.
Officers also executed a search warrant at the residence where Martinez had been staying in Arizona.
She will be extradited to Santa Barbara County to face the same charges as Bautista, Valle said.
While executing search warrants in connection with the investigation, officers recovered numerous items believed to have been purchased with the stolen money, Valle said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.
Anyone with information about the residential burglary and/or stolen money is encouraged to contact Detective Jesse Garcia at 805.928.3781, ext. 1115.