SANTA BARBARA — Violent crime in Santa Barbara got off to an early start this month with a pair of armed robbery incidents occurring within a three-hour period in the early evening of June 1.
According to written police reports, Santa Barbara Police Department 911 dispatchers received a 6:30 p.m. call from a local man who reported that he had been “mugged” by two assailants in a beachfront public park popular as an adult softball league venue. The victim reported that one of the suspects, later identified as Christopher Park, 41, had approached him and demanded all money in the victim’s possession. The report further details a second suspect working as Park’s lookout and accomplice.
When this victim reportedly declined to proffer any money to Park and his partner Shawn Hubbell, also 41, the victim was confronted with what he believed to have been a handgun and quickly turned over the cash in his wallet.
According to Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman Lt. Paul McCaffrey, the suspects then fled the area and were believed to have moved northward into Santa Barbara’s lower eastside, where they confronted two additional victims with the same modus operandi.
“They were traveling in a Red Ford Explorer and were obviously after quick money,” McCaffrey added.
According to the evening’s police reports, 911 dispatchers shortly thereafter received another call alerting authorities to the presence of two men less than a mile distant in possession of a firearm demanding money from a second victim.
Investigators responding to the scene at a second public park learned that the previously described Ford Explorer approached a second victim whereupon the driver — later identified as Hubbell — alighted from the vehicle and held up false identification with the claim that he was a sheriff’s deputy, demanding that the victim hand over his wallet. According to police reports, the victim saw Hubbell reach into his jacket as if to present a weapon, whereupon the victim fled on foot while Hubbell and Park escaped once again in their vehicle.
Less than two hours later, a third 911 call was received reporting two men brandishing a knife just blocks away from the earlier scenes. Police units responded and took Hubbell and Park into custody. As described in the police report, both Hubbell and Park admitted to the crimes due to an immediate need for cash with which to buy street drugs.
Hubbell and Park were arrested on charges of robbery and attempted robbery, and are being held in Santa Barbara County Jail on $50,000 bail each.