Over the last few days, Santa Barbara Police Department patrol officers have made several outstanding felony arrests.
Felony Vandalism Arrest: Last Thursday night, Officer Justin Cruz and Officer Oscar Corral were working the Nightlife Enforcement Team detail when they started to notice fresh spray-paint vandalism appearing throughout the evening between the 500 and 700 blocks of State Street. Realizing that a suspect or suspects were actively tagging the downtown area, the officers started searching for the culprits.
At 2:11 a.m., they contacted David Cruz Real and Miguel Arriaga, both 19 and from Santa Barbara, on the 600 block of State Street. The two looked too young to be nightclub patrons and had black paint on their hands and clothing.
Real and Arriaga are suspected in eight locations of graffiti tagging and about $2,200 worth of property damage. Both were arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of felony vandalism and misdemeanor possession of vandalism tools with a bail amount of $10,000.
Attempted Auto Burglary Arrest: At 10:53 p.m. Friday, Officer Bryn Bruce was patrolling the Eastside when she saw a 16-year-old male attempting to break into a vehicle parked on the 1100 block of Carpinteria Street. The juvenile, a Santa Barbara resident, was trying to force open one of the vehicle’s windows with the end of his skateboard. The car was locked, but had several items of value visible in the passenger compartment.
When Officer Bruce contacted the burglar he ran away, but was caught by Officer Bruce after a short foot pursuit. The boy was booked into Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of attempted burglary, a felony, and resisting or delaying an officer, a misdemeanor.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm Arrest: On May 25, 2013 at 1:37 a.m., Officer Shawn Hill was on patrol on the 1600 block of Grand Avenue when he saw Adam Kyle Avila, 29, of Santa Barbara walking his bicycle on the sidewalk. Officer Hill contacted Avila and engaged him in conversation and soon discovered that he was on felony probation.
Officer Hill conducted a probation search of Avila and found what appeared to be stolen mail in his backpack. Also found in Avila’s backpack was a 9mm semi-automatic handgun with a loaded magazine.
Avila was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a felony, with a bail amount of $20,000.
Marijuana Dealer Arrested: At 1:25 p.m. Saturday, Sgt. Warren Holtke was working as a patrol supervisor when he conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Joseph Cruz Castaneda, 36, of Santa Barbara on the 1100 block of Chino Street. Neither Castaneda nor his passenger was wearing a seat belt, as required by law.
While contacting Castaneda and his passenger, Sgt. Holtke noticed a strong odor of marijuana emanating from Castaneda’s car. When questioned about it, Castaneda acknowledged being in possession of marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation and relinquished a small amount to Sgt. Holtke. A search of Castaneda’s vehicle, however, produced about four ounces of marijuana, evidence of sales, and $3,185 in cash.
Castaneda was arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana, both felonies, with a bail amount of $20,000. Castaneda and his passenger both received traffic citations for failing to wear seat belts.
— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.