Santa Barbara – The Iron Cross Tattoo parlor occupies retail space in downtown Santa Barbara, subleased from the 83-year-old owner of Collector’s Corner Antique Shop, which conducts business immediately adjacent in the same building.
Collector’s Corner—a well-known local source of antiques and collectibles that include Native American artifacts, antique firearms, and art objects from around the world—had been the victim of recent burglaries, with reported losses approaching $2,000,000 under ongoing investigation by Santa Barbara Police Department Property Crimes Division. According to SBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, Detective John Ingram had been leading the investigation for more than a month when he “developed information” that Pablo Sela, 49, the proprietor of Iron Cross Tattoo, “was in possession of property stolen from Collector’s Corner.”
Pursuant to that information, Ingram served a search warrant on Sela’s downtown residence as well as his place of business, and discovered more than 150 items traceable directly to the antique store thefts. Harwood reported that the owner of Collector’s Corner had been in ailing health and the store had been irregularly attended to in recent months, during which time “suspects exploited the owner’s absence” to perpetrate the thefts.
The search of Sela’s tattoo parlor also revealed the presence of methamphetamine, Suboxone, Valium, and assorted drug paraphernalia, compounding the charges against him. He was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of receiving stolen property, elder abuse, possession of methamphetamine, Suboxone, Valium, and drug paraphernalia, with his bail set at $250,000.
Presumably it will be just a little bit more challenging in the immediate future to get a really gnarly tattoo in Santa Barbara.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
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