Three arrested in vehicle theft
SANTA BARBARA — Three people were arrested Thursday morning in connection with a vehicle theft, authorities said.
At 6:11 a.m. Thursday, the California Highway Patrol requested Sheriff’s deputies check the area of Turnpike Road and Calle Real for a reported sighting of a stolen vehicle. A deputy responded and spotted the vehicle parked on a side street, and the vehicle immediately left the area headed north on Turnpike Road, said Raquel Zick, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies pursued the vehicle north on Turnpike, but before catching up to the vehicle, it crashed into the curb turning west on Cathedral Oaks. The crash destroyed the rear axle of the truck, and the driver fled toward Tucker’s Grove Park. One passenger remained in the vehicle, and another occupant attempted to walk away from the scene.
The two people, 25-year-old Samuel Torrez, of Lompoc, and 27-year-old Anatasia Villegas, of Santa Barbara, were taken into custody.
A perimeter ws set up and a K9 unit responded to assist in the search of the driver. A shelter in place was sent out to nearby residents before 27-year-old Fabian Romero, of Santa Maria, was located and taken into custody, Ms. Zick said.
Mr. Torrez was arrested on suspicion of felony conspiracy and giving false information to a peace officer, a misdemeanor. He had been released from County Jail prior to the incident. He had previously been arrested by Santa Maria police on charges that included vehicle theft and being in possession of a controlled substance and was released due to the $0 bail rule, Ms. Zick said.
Ms. Villegas was arrested on suspicion of an outstanding no bail felony warrant for violation of parole and obstructing a peace officer, a misdemeanor.
Mr. Romero was arrested on suspicion of felony vehicle theft, felony conspiracy, and misdemeanor charges of obstructing a peace officer and evading arrest. He was also booked on a no bail probation violation hold, Ms. Zick said.
The CHP is handling the stolen vehicle report and investigating the crash.
— Mitchell White
Man arrested in burglary, theft
LOS OLIVOS — A Santa Maria man was arrested early Thursday in connection with a vehicle theft and crash in Los Olivos, authorities said.
At 3:44 a.m. Thursday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies were in the 2800 block of Via Alta searching for a suspect who was looking into vehicles with a flashlight. As they arrived, a vehicle passed them going the opposite direction at a high rate of speed. The vehicle crossed Alamo Pintado and crashed into a tree near the dead end of Alta Street, said Raquel Zick, sheriff’s spokeswoman.
The driver fled on foot. Deputies and a K9 unit searched the area but did not locate the suspect. The California Highway Patrol contacted the owner, who confirmed their vehicle had just been stolen from their driveway, Ms. Zick said.
At 8:39 a.m., deputies were called to the 2800 block of Alta Street for a report of a suspect trying to open the doors of a locked vehicle. The reporting party followed the suspect to Foxen Canyon Road and State Route 154. Authorities made contact with the suspect, 19-year-old Angel Ortiz, who matched the description of the suspect from the earlier vehicle theft in the area. He was turned over to the CHP and was later booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, grand theft, burglary, and possession of stolen property — all felony charges. He was also arrested on suspicion of hit and run without injury, a misdemeanor, Ms. Zick said.
— Mitchell White
Fatal crash victim identified
SANTA MARIA — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau has identified the man who died following a motorcycle crash Thursday evening as 63-year-old Joseph L. Wiley, of Santa Maria.
Around 6:07 p.m. Thursday, Mr. Wiley was riding his motorcycle with a group of riders north on Dominion Road at approximately 45 mph, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“For reasons yet to be confirmed but due to suspected medical reasons Wiley lost control driving off the paved roadway down a slight embankment,” the CHP said.
He was unresponsive upon arrival of emergency personnel and CPR was unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Drugs or alcohol are not suspected of playing a factor in the crash, authorities said.
— Mitchell White
Closures planned for Highway 101 project
CARPINTERIA — Several lane closures are planned next week as work continues on the Linden and Casitas Pass Highway 101 widening project.
From 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday, one northbound lane will be closed from Bailard Avenue to Santa Claus Lane, as well as the onramps and offramps at Casitas Pass Road and the onramp at Linden Avenue.
A similar closure will be in place during overnight hours Monday through Wednesday. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, the highway raps at Casitas Pass Road and the onramp at Linden Avenue will be closed, according to Caltrans officials.
From 9 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday, one southbound lane will be closed from Santa Claus Lane to Bailard Avenue, as well as the onramp and offramp at Casitas Pass Road. A similar closure will be in place during overnight hours Monday through Wednesday. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, the highway ramps at Casitas Pass Road will be closed, officials said.
The southbound offramp at Linden Avenue remains temporarily closed. Delays are expected as flagmen stripe lanes. Consecutive ramps in the same direction will not be closed at the same time, officials said.
Work will continue on the Franklin and Santa Monica Creek bridges. Soundwall work on the southbound side of the 101 south of Carpinteria Avenue, and drainage improvements in the area, will also continue.
Work will continue on the southbound offramp at Linden Avenue, as well as the northbound onramp and new roundabout.
For more information, visit www.sbroads.com.
— Mitchell White