Santa Barbara – The current profile of UCSB in the media could use some polishing, but recent events in the adjacent residential community of Isla Vista—truly a “college town” if there ever was one—continue to tarnish the reputation of one of the nation’s leading research universities.
Evidence of that continues to arise with an unsolved armed robbery taking place at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 3rd. According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, the suspects in that case, reportedly wearing “dark hoodies and masks” forced their way into a student apartment on Seville Road armed with handguns, and stole personal electronic items before making a clean getaway.
Less than 24 hours later, SBSD deputies and UCSB Police officers responded to the same apartment complex pursuant to a report of a violent argument over a drug deal going bad. Upon arrival, deputies found “several subjects fleeing the area”, five of whom were summarily detained, with four of them determined to have been involved in an armed robbery attempt on the premises just minutes prior. Taken into custody were Brenden Lewis, a 21-year old Ventura resident, Christianna Horton, 25 of Ventura, Tevis Johnston, a 19-year old from Buellton, and 20-year old Levi Roman, also of Buellton. They were each booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on various charges of burglary, robbery, transportation of cocaine and alprazolam, and possession of an illegal knife.
Prior to this incident, many of the suspects had been in trouble with the law, according to available arrest records. Brenden Lewis had been arrested, while reporting a Santa Barbara residence, on February 18, and charged with possession of a narcotic controlled substance. Tevis Johnston was picked up by a Buellton Highway Patrol officer on April 8 and charged with driving on a suspended license, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and driving in that condition.
Levi Johnston was arrested in May of last year for public intoxication under the influence of a controlled substance. To make matters worse, he failed to show for his court date, resulting in a warrant, which he was arrested pursuant to on April 15. His response to that arrest earned him an additional resisting arrest charge at that time.
On the afternoon of that same day, another armed robbery took place on the public sidewalk just steps away from the UCSB campus, wherein a male student was “reportedly robbed by four or five black male adults armed with a handgun.” The suspects in that case, Hoover indicated, remain at large.
Then, less than 24 hours after that, a residential burglary report brought SBSD deputies to a student-occupied apartment complex, where investigation promptly led to the arrest of 28-year old Savannah Arias, who claimed to have been the victim of the aforementioned 4:30 a.m. May 3rd armed robbery at the hands of those wearing “hoodies and masks.” She had been arrested before as well, on April 11 for driving under the influence of drugs.
Photos: courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking, Google Maps