Burglar Caught During Fire Evacuation

Burglar Caught During Fire Evacuation
Photo: Adam James Smith

Santa Barbara – As if Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties didn’t have their share of difficulties over the past two weeks as they endure the threatening vicissitudes of the Thomas Fire—currently predicted to become the largest such conflagration in the state’s history—law enforcement agencies are now faced with criminals attempting to take advantage of the current disaster.

With much of Montecito—home to some of the most valuable residential properties in the country—the subject of a week-long mandatory evacuation order, leaving large swaths of the community completely deserted, the community is under the watchful eye of multiple CHP, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, and California National Guard personnel. There are thousands of homes currently without ingress or egress, the result of a manifold roadblock system throughout the area.

According to SBSD Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, that enforcement effort apparently failed to thwart the objectives of 32-year-old Lompoc resident Adam James Smith, who was observed entering an oceanfront residence just a stone’s throw from the famed Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel.

An alarm activation alerted patrol units “assigned to the evacuated fire areas” quickly responded in force, with SBSD, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, and Santa Maria Police Department cops quickly “setting up a perimeter at the residence” from which only Houdini could have escaped.

Once their perimeter was established, SBSD deputies “contacted the suspect inside,” removed him from the property, and confirmed the fact that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong intent. Smith was summarily transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on charges of residential burglary as well as four outstanding warrants. He remains in custody, held without bail.

Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking

Burglar Caught During Fire Evacuation was last modified: January 2nd, 2018 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara

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