Santa Barbara, long known as the perfect romantic “getaway” for couples, is apparently not the place to make a “getaway” from the consequences of felonious activity. Criminal couples sometimes come up against cop couples in this tourist mecca, as evidenced by the events of January 16th in the exclusive residential Riviera neighborhood.
It was at a residence on the Riviera’s “scenic drive” overlooking the entire city and harbor where during the late night hours Santa Barbara Police Department Officers Tom Eccles and Beth Lazarus cruised down the serpentine road pursuant to a 911 Emergency call reporting a burglary earlier in the evening. Upon arrival at the reporting residence, Eccles and Lazarus learned that the homeowners had returned to their house at 9:00 p.m. to discover unmistakable signs of a burglary, including doors left open, and missing personal property including jewelry and a large amount of cash.
It was at that time that Eccles and Lazarus learned that the home had video surveillance cameras in operation throughout the day and evening, and that a recording of the burglary had in fact been captured in “hi-def” resolution. Upon observation of the video, it was determined that it “depicted the suspect arriving at the residence in a white Ford Explorer at exactly 11:33 a.m.,” according to Sgt. Riley Harwood, SBPD Public Information Officer.
With the video recording further analyzed at the SBPD Crime Lab the following morning, detectives quickly recognized the suspect individual as Matthew Storm Baucom, 39, and the vehicle as that owned by his reputed girlfriend, Brooke April Standish, 33.
Wasting little time, detectives from the Property Crimes Unit, Narcotics Unit, and Criminal Impact Team retained a search warrant of Baucom’s last known residence, and conducted surveillance of the address that afternoon, during which Baucom was seen driving away in the vehicle recorded on the surveillance video the night before. Baucom was stopped just blocks away and taken into custody at that time.
While Baucom was being detained and further physical evidence of his ongoing burglary activities—including tools, gloves, and lock picks—detectives were arriving at the Palm Avenue apartment and confronting Ms. Standish. According to Harwood’s report to the media, detectives “discovered articles of clothing resembling that worn by Baucom on the video, as well as stolen watches and a quantity of cash.” Along with the booty of the alleged burglary, Standish was also found to be in possession of unprescribed pharmaceuticals and evidence of identity of credit card thefts.
Baucom was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, and driving without a license, with bail set at $50,000. For her part, Standish was arrested and booked for possession of stolen property, accessory to burglary, possession of narcotics, and possession of access and credit card information, with bail set at $20,000.
EdHat: Residential Burglary Arrest