Thursday, July 10, 2008

Police blotter

A stolen credit card is charged at a local liquor store, a man fondles himself at a local laundromat and police head on a high-speed chase in today’s police blotter.

July 8, 7:55 p.m. — Police received reports of subjects using a stolen credit card at a local liquor store and tracked down the suspects in a city parking lot. The owner of the credit card explained to authorities that he had accidentally left his backpack near his truck in the 600 block of Bath Street earlier that afternoon. When he returned to his truck an hour later, he realized he had left his bag unattended and discovered it had been stolen.
Later that day, he received a call from his credit card company informing him of suspicious activity on his account — namely $584.42 worth of charges at Santa Barbara Liquor, 1015 De la Vina St. After calling the store to report his stolen card was being used fraudulently at that location, the victim called police.
After being directed by employees at the liquor store, officers found the suspects sitting in City Lot 3 on Figueroa Street. Once they spotted police, the two men started walking away. Police caught up to the suspects and placed them in handcuffs. Witnesses identified a 21-year-old local man as the suspect who made a series of alcohol purchases using the stolen card. Police arrested him for grand theft and burglary, booking him in lieu of $20,000 bail. Authorities also arrested a 19-year-old man for possession of stolen property and providing a false name to a police officer, also booking him on $20,000 bail.

July 8, 9:45 p.m. — Authorities arrested a 43-year-old Ventura man for lewd conduct after he fondled himself at a local laundromat. Patrons of the business in the 2800 block of De la Vina Street reported seeing the man sprawl out on a bench, put a hand up the leg of his shorts and fondle his genitals. Several people, including a child between 12 and 14 years old, reportedly witnessed the act. Outraged patrons called police and signed a citizen’s arrest for lewd conduct.

July 9, 8:12 p.m. — Authorities chased down a 36-year-old Santa Maria man after he sped away in a stolen car in Santa Barbara. Sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull over Ricky Demarest, driving a reportedly stolen Volkswagen Jetta, for a speeding violation when he allegedly failed to stop. California Highway Patrol officers took over the pursuit once it progressed to southbound Highway 101.
The fleeing suspect reportedly hit excessive speeds and refused to stop for officers. A spike strip punctured all four of the Jetta’s tires in Ventura south of Victoria Avenue and the vehicle rolled to a stop on the right shoulder.
Authorities said Demarest refused to comply with officers and a struggle ensued. Authorities used a Taser, but the suspect continued to struggle until a police K-9 was used to apprehend the man. Police eventually took the suspect into custody for auto theft, driving under the influence, evading arrest, resisting arrest, assaulting a police dog and a felony warrant. Authorities took the 36-year-old to a hospital for treatment of his injuries before booking him.

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