Photo: Stolen car
July 27, 2022 – Santa Barbara, Ca.
Perhaps it’s the Federal Reserve’s recent increase in interest rates or a reaction to gas prices and the attendant inflationary cycle experienced by all Americans…or maybe it’s simply that some people can’t keep their hands off property belonging to others.
Whatever the reason, according to Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale, property crimes throughout the City of Santa Barbara are on the uptick as evidenced by an arrest on July 26th pursuant to “four reports of residential burglaries in the city in less than 24 hours.”
Law enforcement’s initial suspicion was that all four burglaries were the work of a single individual based upon “eyewitness descriptions, physical evidence, and video surveillance.” The first report was received by the SBPD Call Center on the evening of July 25th .
The following morning, almost exactly 12 hours later, “dispatchers received a report of a second break-in in the same residential area.” That incident was notable in that “the neighbor confronted the suspect and a physical altercation occurred” as the suspect abandoned his booty and escaped on foot.
Just three hours later, a third burglary was reported in the area, with the suspect stealing a Toyota sedan as a means of fleeing the scene. Just minutes later, the Toyota was involved in a single-vehicle collision with a palm tree decorating a business thoroughfare, whereupon it came to an unceremonious halt and was abandoned by the suspected car thief.
A widespread search of the area immediately ensued, during which a Westside area resident reported “a suspicious person breaking into a home” nearby. Responding SBPD officers established a secure perimeter around the reported location. With the help of a police K-9 unit, 33-year-old Santa Barbara resident Miguel Ascencio Torres was eventually taken into custody without further incident.
Torres was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on multiple felony counts of residential burglary, felony vehicle theft, and misdemeanor hit and run, with his bail set at $500,000.