Justo Bueno Palacios
SANTA BARBARA — In an uncharacteristic expression of personal and professional frustration, members of the Santa Barbara Police Department have commented on the May 29th arrest of Justo Bueno-Palacios, an undocumented 27-year-old Mexican citizen who apparently doesn’t know when to stop pushing his luck as a criminal.
According to SBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, Bueno-Palacios has an extensive history of “committing low-level misdemeanor offenses” which have seen him pass through the gates of Santa Barbara County Jail no less than nine times in the past two months.
Among his crimes, Bueno-Palacios was arrested on May 30th for an April 6th episode of child annoying after he pursued a 17-year-old female through the streets of downtown Santa Barbara on foot.
A week later, he was arrested for prowling when he was discovered hiding in the bed of an occupied residence not his own. Then, on May 2nd, he was arrested for trespass when he was found in the bathtub of a home not his own. Just weeks later he was arrested when he was found hiding in the storage room of a restaurant after closing time.
On that occasion, he was found to be “in possession of a fraudulent Social Security Card and a fraudulent Permanent Resident Card and was charged with trespass, resisting an officer, and possession of false documents to conceal citizenship or alien status, with his bail set at $50,000.
His May 29th arrest occurred when he was found hiding in the shower of an apartment occupied by two women. When officers arrived to investigate, Bueno-Palacios was promptly arrested for burglary and falsely identifying himself to law enforcement.
The arresting officers, fully aware of their suspect’s recent history, petitioned for a bail increase to $100,000. He remains in custody pending that bail, as well as an additional $2500 detainer for probation violation.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lieutenant Brad McVay indicated that Bueno-Palacios’ prior releases from custody were the result of the misdemeanor level of his charges and the extreme overcrowding at Santa Barbara County Jail. “I can express both publicly as a person and as a law enforcement officer to be so frustrated to see someone get out of jail even before I get off my shift,” McVay commented.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking