GOLETA — A quartet of suspects are in custody for a residential burglary in which more than 20 firearms were stolen.
On the morning of Oct. 15, a Goleta resident returned to his home following a vacation to discover that “the house had been ransacked and a number of firearms were missing,” said Santa Barbara County sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars.
Other items reported stolen included credit cards, cash and checkbooks.
“The guns had been held in a pair of locked vaults,” Sugars told the media, “but the thieves apparently gained access to the keys that opened them.”
The victim reported to investigators his suspicions that a tenant on the property was involved in the theft. Following questioning, the tenant, 48-year-old Rachel Beard, was arrested at the residence after admitting she had stolen the weapons and sold them to various individuals throughout the county. She was booked into Santa Barbara County jail on a no-bail probation violation detainer and felony charges of residential burglary, forgery, and possession of a firearm.
With evidence provided by Beard, detectives served warrants later that same day throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, ultimately recovering seven of the stolen guns and arresting Kevin Benavidez, 48, Rancy Dillon, 32, and John Lopez, 30.
Both Benavidez and Lopez are being held on no-bail parole detainers and felony gun possession charges.
Dillon was booked into Santa Barbara County jail on similar charges and posted his $35,000 bail the following day.
“There are still weapons unaccounted for,” added Sugars, who asked that information about the missing guns to be reported to the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at (805) 681-4171.