ISLA VISTA — A late April shopping trip throughout the University of California, Santa Barbara community of Isla Vista, in which bogus $20 currency was used to make incidental purchases, resulted Sunday in the arrest of four college-age counterfeiting suspects.
Retailers in Isla Vista reported receipt of fake currency to Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies, describing the individual who had made purchases with the currency as driving a silver sports car. In an official statement from sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Drew Sugars, deputies shortly thereafter made a routine traffic stop of a car matching that description on El Embarcadero Street, one of Isla Vista’s primary thoroughfares.
“During that stop, deputies found a counterfeit 20 dollar bill and arrests were immediately made,” Sugars said.
Taken into custody at that time were the car’s driver, Rebecca Shintaku, and her passenger, Jack Antonsen. Both suspects are 19 years old.
With purchases having been made at such local establishments as Six Pack Liquor, I.V. Pasta House, IV Drip, and the local Subway shop, evidence of intent to pass bogus bills was substantial. Further investigation later in the week led detectives to a residence in downtown Santa Barbara, where more evidence in the form of counterfeit bills and, as Sugars noted, “substantial evidence of the making of bills” was discovered, along with small amounts of marijuana. At that time additional suspects Tyler Yarnell, 19, and Wan Xing Peng, 21, were taken into custody.
All four suspects were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of possession of marijuana, forgery, and criminal conspiracy.