Santa Barbara County – In a release to the media touting the value of K-9 units to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department’s crime-busting efforts, SBSD Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover cited the March 23rd arrest of 21-year-old Santa Maria resident Jaime Manuel Rayas as an example of canine efficiency.
It was just after midnight on the 23rd when a K-9 unit on patrol on the outskirts of the City of Santa Maria observed “a suspicious vehicle” parked in an area supermarket lot.
Contact with the vehicle’s driver promptly ensued. It didn’t take long for the patrol deputy to determine that the car “was stolen from within the City of Lompoc,” whereupon Rayas found himself facing “Magnum,” a German Shepherd trained to confront suspects who may be a flight risk.
Additional patrol units were soon at the scene, one of which located “a female walking in the area.” She was identified as 31-year-old Lompoc resident Maria Isquierdo, “later determined to be affiliated with the driver” and under the influence of a controlled substance.
At that point, “Magnum” performed a search of the stolen vehicle, aiding deputies in the discovery of “a substantial amount of items including burglary tools.”
Rayas was taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on charges of possession of stolen property, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and possession of burglary tools. His bail was set at $20,000.
For her part, Isquierdo was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail and charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance. She remains in custody on a no bail hold pursuant to a felony warrant for welfare fraud.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking