Sunday, March 23, 2008

Police handle graffiti, drugs and burglary


March 14, 1:45 p.m. — Santa Barbara police arrived at 1001 State Street after receiving reports of fresh graffiti. An examination of the rear lot of Saks Fifth Avenue revealed “tagging” related to the one-year anniversary of the stabbing death of 15-year-old Luis Angel Linares. Messages included “R.I.P. Nacho” and “R.I.P. Chunky,” nicknames for Linares. Officers photographed the scene for documentation purposes and have no suspects.

March 17, 8:42 p.m. — While on patrol near the Santa Barbara Brewing Company, 501 State St., officers spotted a man in the parking lot with a cocktail glass containing pink liquid in hand. As they approached the suspect to query about the contents of his glass, he started to walk away. After several attempts to detain him, he finally faced the officers, who asked for identification.
As he pulled a paper application form for identification renewal from his wallet, police noticed a California I.D. also in the wallet. The name on the I.D. did not match the name he gave police and, believing he had false identification and an open container of alcohol in public, officers decided to search the man.
After a brief struggle, police wrangled him into handcuffs. A quick search of his clothing revealed a small plastic baggie in his jacket pocket containing what appeared to be rock cocaine. As police pulled the baggie from his pocket, the suspect reportedly said, “What in the hell is that?”
An officer put the baggie down on the hood of the patrol car in front of the man and continued searching. The suspect then bent down and snatched up the baggie in his mouth. After authorities slapped him three times on the jaw with “distraction strikes,” he finally spit the bag out. The substance later proved to be 6.8 grams of cocaine.
While transporting the suspect to the police station, officers noticed he kept shifting in the back seat. Upon arrival, they discovered he had managed to remove a shoe, causing another packet of what appeared to be cocaine to fall out. A strip search revealed a total of four “bindles” in his sock containing a total of 5.3 grams of cocaine.
During the search, authorities also found a white plastic bag protruding from the suspect’s anus containing 1.2 grams of powdered cocaine, as well as a marijuana joint in his belongings. The total value of the recovered drugs is estimated at $1,000.
Police booked the man on $30,000 bail for drug possession, resisting arrest, possession of false identification and an open container violation.

March 18, 3 p.m. — Police took a 40-year-old Ventura woman into custody for burglary, grand theft and forgery committed last year. In December, victims contacted police to report valuables stolen from their locker at Spectrum Gym on State Street as they worked out. A set of car keys had been taken and a purse containing a checkbook, credit cards and identification had subsequently been stolen from the locked vehicle.
Authorities tracked the use of the credit cards — purchases in the amount of $202 and $318 had been made that day — and examined video surveillance footage. The suspect also forged one check in the amount of $349. The investigation led to the Ventura woman, who admitted to the theft and forgery. She also admitted to similar crimes at gyms in Santa Ynez and Ventura. She is being held on $20,000 bail.

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