Santa Barbara – Fans of television detective shows dating from the early days of Dragnet, Mannix, and Harry O, all the way up to today’s devotees of Law and Order know that there are several factors working in the favor of law enforcement: communication, collaboration, and consistent footwork.
Those elements were certainly contributing factors in the recent arrests of four suspects who had been sought by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department detectives for the past month. It all began with a pair of home invasion robberies that took place in the community of Isla Vista, just yards away from the UCSB campus. It was just after midnight on October 22nd that, according to SBSD Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, three men forced their way into an apartment and confronted the occupants with threats of deadly violence, “physically assaulted them, threatened that they had a gun, and stole property” from the residence.
After making good their pre-dawn escape, more than 12 hours later two of the same men returned to the apartment with a third man who had not been there previously. With remarkable bravura, the three invaders proceeded to perpetrate the same crime once again, holding their victims at knife point once again while they proceeded to steal even more personal property.
Just hours after the second robbery, Saul Garcia Tirado, 23, a King City, Ca. resident, was located by deputies at a nearby fast food restaurant and was arrested on suspicion of having been involved in the two robberies. At that point, the investigation into the identities of the other suspects picked up momentum, and on October 28th, SBSD detectives—working in concert with personnel from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department and the Coalinga Police Department—served a search warrant upon the residence of Robert Clay Palmer, 24. He was positively identified as “the third suspect in the second robbery” and was taken into custody.
The investigation continued unabated, and on November 8th, Julian Ackerman, 24, another Coalinga resident was picked up pursuant to Santa Barbara warrants for his arrest pertaining to the pair of robberies.
Then, the persistently long arm of the law finally reached out to the fourth and oldest of the four suspects, Buddy Baker, 27, a resident of Fresno, was apprehended and taken into custody.
All four men were transported to Santa Barbara County Jail and booked on multiple felony charges stemming from the home invasions, robberies, and use of weapons, with each of their bail amounts set at $500,000.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
Independent: Four men arrested for two home invasions