Monday, March 31, 2008

Authorities handle burglaries and bad drivers


Santa Barbara police worked commercial and auto burglary cases while dealing with unruly drivers, including one who attempted to elude officers, in recent days.

March 25, 11 a.m. — Police responded to Milpas Rental at 6 N. Milpas St. after the owner called to report a burglary that occurred the night before. Video surveillance showed three subjects pulling up to the business in a silver Dodge van, cutting a lock on the gate, and stealing a pressure washer, water pump and two concrete saws. The stolen property is valued at $6,000. Officers booked the video footage into evidence.

March 28, 2:04 a.m. — Officers on full uniform foot patrol in the 400 and 500 blocks of State Street came across two men with bar glasses in their hands. The glasses contained ice cubes and an orange-colored liquid, later confirmed to be whiskey. One of the men, a 19-year-old, provided police with his uncle’s identification. He later admitted to trying to deceive police to avoid citation. Officers also noted he attempted to hide his glass once he spotted them. He apologized for lying and drinking as police poured out the glass and arrested him.
The other man, a 23-year-old, said he had recently moved from Missouri and was unaware that leaving a bar with a cocktail is illegal. A background check revealed he had obtained a California driver’s license in September 2006 and had been in the state for about a year after spending time in Missouri. He offered numerous excuses to police, arguing that the glass contained only ice and no alcohol. He also claimed his friend had handed the glass to him before finally signing his open container citation.

March 28, 11 p.m. — Police investigated the scene of an auto burglary in the senior parking lot at Santa Barbara High School. The vehicle’s owner, an 18-year-old man, told officers he had parked his car in the lot at 8 p.m. and returned two and a half hours later to find the driver’s side window smashed. Both doors were also unlocked. Unknown suspects made off with the car stereo and apparently rifled through a bag of clothing. Police have no known witnesses, suspects or evidence.

March 29, 5:35 p.m. — An officer on bike patrol at the intersection of State and Haley streets spotted a tan Chevy truck run a red light. After the officer yelled through the open driver’s side window for the man to pull over, the driver accelerated instead and ran through another red light in an attempt to escape. The officer called in for assistance and provided a license plate for the truck. Within minutes, other officers spotted the 44-year-old driver heading along the 300 block of E. Haley Street.
Police flipped on their emergency lights and siren, attempting to pull the vehicle over. The driver refused to stopped, accelerating and slowing as he continued to run more red lights. He eventually stopped in the 400 block of E. Yanonali Street. As he exited his vehicle and refused to comply with orders, officers Tasered the suspect before taking him into custody.
Police noted the man exhibited symptoms of being under the influence of alcohol and booked him for felony evading, resisting arrest, and suspicion of DUI.

March 30, 4:45 p.m. — Officers on patrol spotted a vehicle driving at high speeds in the 1200 block of E. Montecito Street. The driver of the gray Toyota Tundra burned rubber for approximately five seconds before accelerating to 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. Police stopped the 24-year-old driver in the 1000 block of E. Montecito Street for exhibition of speed. The driver gave a false name and told police he was a tourist visiting from Australia. Although the suspect, a Ventura resident, said he did not have a driver’s license, a search of the vehicle turned up a California driver’s license under the seat. He told police he lied because he had a suspended license. Officers booked the man for driving on a suspended license, exhibition of speed and providing false information.

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