Home Surveillance Video Leads Cops to Home Invasion Robbery Suspects
Santa Barbara County – Proving the efficacy of even the most rudimentary home security video set up, four suspects have been identified and arrested for an August 27th home invasion robbery in the City of Lompoc.
According to Lompoc Police Department spokesman Sgt. Martin, the crime, which was clearly well-planned beforehand, began with the suspects luring the male resident out of the home to make a trip to Santa Maria, some 40 miles distant.
According to Lompoc detectives, once the male resident departed the premises, one of the perpetrators distracted the remaining female resident while three others gained entry to the house through a rear door. Once inside, Brandon Robert Morrison, Leonard Adrian Torrez, Josh Steven Hofeld, and Gary Patrick Greathouse threatened the female with a gun, whereupon she promptly fled her home on foot and called police.
Responding Lompoc Police Department patrol officers “spotted the suspect vehicle,” but the four men observed the officers “and ran.” An immediate search of the area proved fruitless, but the ensuing investigation of the car revealed “property stolen during the residential robbery.” Police investigation led them to a review of surveillance video provided by the robbery victims, which enabled police to identify the aforementioned suspects. Three of them—Morrisson, Torrez, and Hofeld—all “known to the Lompoc Police Department” were located within four days and apprehended.
Greathouse was not located until September 9th, when he was spotted leaving his Santa Maria apartment. When he observed police units nearby, he promptly hopped into his car and led police on yet another vehicle chase. This pursuit ultimately ended with a brief foot chase and Greathouse cowering in the closet of a home he had barged into. He was arrested at the scene and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail to join his three friends.
Follow-up investigation at Greathouse’s apartment led police to the discovery of a half-pound of methamphetamine, an ounce of heroin, and a fifth suspect, Crystal Monique Manzanares, who was charged with possession of a control substance for sale, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
For their part, Torrez, Hofeld, Greathouse, and Morrison were charged with robbery, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit a felony, parole violation, and possession of a stolen vehicle. Greathouse and Morrison face additional enhancements relating to prior convictions. Gary Greathouse was arrested four times in the past year for drug and paraphernalia possession, burglary, and parole violations. He was also charged with burglary and possession of stolen property back in 2010.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking