Monday, June 16, 2008

Stolen cars and drugs dominate blotter


Authorities dealt with two Marines who went AWOL in Santa Barbara, in addition to handling the usual drug and disturbing the peace arrests.

June 11, 10:02 p.m. — Police arrested two men after discovering the car they were staying in had been reported stolen. Authorities received reports of illegal lodging in a gray Mitsubishi in the 400 block of W. Cota Street and found two men in the vehicle. A license plate check turned up the vehicle as stolen and officers arrested both men. During interviews at the station, the two 21-year-old men, both Marines on active duty, admitted to renting the vehicle for a weekend trip from a military base in Twentynine Palms, Calif., on May 28.
However, on their way back to the base on June 1, they ran out of money and the car’s battery died. The two men said they had decided to hang around in Santa Barbara until their payday on June 15. The vehicle was due back to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car on June 2. Authorities booked both men into County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle.

June 13, 4:02 p.m. — An officer on bike patrol passing through De la Guerra Plaza spotted a marijuana pipe on the ground between two people sitting in the grass. Upon questioning, a 24-year-old man admitted he owned the pipe. Closer investigation revealed burned marijuana residue in the pipe. A search of the suspect uncovered a 2-inch knife with a wooden handle and stone blade that had been chipped to a sharpened edge. The man said he kept the knife to protect himself if threatened. Authorities arrested him for possession of marijuana and an illegal weapon.

June 13, 10:04 p.m. — A local man driving a stolen Toyota Corolla picked the wrong road to use, pulling into a sobriety checkpoint at 800 E. Haley St. When authorities asked to see his license, the 43-year-old man told police that not only did he not have one, but that he had never owned one. A license plate check revealed the car had been reported stolen earlier that day. The driver, after being placed under arrest, admitted he didn’t return the car to its owner on time. During a subsequent search, officers found a crack pipe on the suspect. A police K9 unit also uncovered less than a gram of crack cocaine and another crack pipe in the vehicle. The driver admitted to owning the cocaine, but not the other pipe. Police booked him in lieu of $20,000 bail for possession of a stolen vehicle, crack cocaine and a crack pipe, as well as for driving without a license.

June 14, 4:53 a.m. — A man nearly succeeded in willingly going to jail for a crime he didn’t commit when questioned by police following a disturbing the peace call. Authorities arrived at 400 State St. after receiving reports of a man causing a disturbance. The suspect provided officers with the name of a 19-year-old man. A records check of the name came back with an outstanding warrant for a DUI conviction. A physical description on record matched the suspect, as did an address in Buellton and the middle name provided by the suspect.
Police arrested the man on the outstanding warrant and transported him to County Jail for booking. On the way to jail, the man asked officers if the warrant had to do with his DUI conviction and expressed surprise that it had been issued so quickly. While booking the suspect into jail, however, correctional officers recognized the man and realized he had given a false name. Police returned and questioned the suspect, who finally admitted his true identity. Nonetheless, playing the name game earned the man jail time for giving false information to authorities.

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