Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Police arrest local teens for assault, theft


Santa Barbara Police have arrested four local teens in connection with a September assault that left a 50-year old man hospitalized.
Lt. Paul McCaffrey said the assault occurred at 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 30 when the victim, who lives on Shoreline Drive, was taking a walk in his neighborhood.
“He was confronted by two suspects, one of whom was armed with a knife,” McCaffrey said. “The suspects demanded his money and threatened to stab him.”

After the victim handed over his wallet, McCaffrey said he turned to flee and was struck on the head with an object, which left him dazed. He said the victim returned home and called police.
“The victim was admitted into Cottage Hospital with a serious head injury,” McCaffrey said. The victim has since been released.
McCaffrey said their was $200 cash and some credit cards in the stolen wallet. he said detectives soon discovered that one of the credit cards had been used several times at the beginning of October at Sears, Circuit City and Rite Aid.
“Detectives viewed surveillance video from Sears store which showed three males and one female making an $800 clothing purchase,” McCaffrey said.
He said gang enforcement officers identified two of the males and one female by name and noted that three of the suspects were known gang members. One of the three suspected gang members was the store clerk who handled the transaction, McCaffrey said.
On Oct. 16, police arrested the four teens, which included Jose Ovando Herrera, 18, his 17-year-old pregnant girl friend, a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy.
McCaffrey said several items of clothing believed to have been purchased with the stolen credit card have been recovered.
He said Herrera was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of armed robbery, burglary and committing the crime in furtherance of a street gang.
The 15-year-old male and 17-year-old female were arrested on suspicion of burglary and the 17-year-old store clerk was arrested for violating his probation.
McCaffrey said police are still trying to identify one more suspect seen on a Sears surveillance video. He said anyone with information about this case can contact Det. Mike Brown at 897-2340.

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