One dead, one injured in head-on collision
SOLVANG — One person died and another suffered minor injuries in a head-on collision Friday morning near the intersection of Mission Drive and Alamo Pintado Road in Solvang, authorities said.
The collision was reported around 9:12 a.m. Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews responded and reported both vehicles sustained significant damage in the collision. Authorities located the two patients, including one who was pronounced dead at the scene, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, fire spokesman.
The other patient was treated on scene. State Route 246 was closed at Alamo Pintado Road for several hours following the collision.
The name of the decedent was withheld Friday. The California Highway Patrol is investigating.
— Mitchell White
Vegetation fire burns four acres
LOS ALAMOS — A vegetation fire burned an estimated four acres Friday afternoon in the area of Highway 101 at Los Alamos, authorities said.
The Sky Incident was reported at 3:02 p.m. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department launched a full vegetation response and found the fire burning near multiple structures near the Skyview motel, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, fire spokesman.
Ground crews were joined by several aircraft for a time and evacuation warnings were issued in the area of Price Ranch Road. Forward progress of the fire was halted around 3:25 p.m.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
— Mitchell White
One arrested in high-speed pursuit
A Santa Maria man was arrested Friday in connection with a high-speed pursuit from Goleta to Orcutt, authorities said.
At approximately 11:35 a.m., the Santa Barbara area California Highway Patrol received a report of a stolen vehicle in the Goleta area. The suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Daniel Emilio Ruiz Medina, reportedly fled north on Highway 101 and the vehicle was located about 20 minutes later near Gaviota State Beach, according to the CHP.
Mr. Medina continued to flee at speeds near 100 mph before entering a residential area on Jonata Park Road. He then located a white Chevrolet truck with the keys in the ignition and proceeded to steal the truck. As he fled, he struck and killed the owner’s pet cat and damaged a fence. He continued to flee before spotting a spike strip near Cat Canyon Road.
According to the CHP, he entered the dirt center median and drove the wrong way, heading north in the southbound lanes, before driving back across the median traveling in the proper direction.
Mr. Medina exited the 101 at Union Valley Parkway near Orcutt before turning on Industrial Parkway.
He then fled on foot and entered Westside Building Materials. Mr. Medina was located sitting at a desk, “where he donned a reflective vest and head set in an attempt to appear as an employee,” the CHP said.
He was taken into custody and arrested on suspicion of a number of felony charges.
— Mitchell Whtie
Man arrested in string of burglaries
LOMPOC — A man was arrested Friday and is accused of a number of commercial burglaries, including the theft of a guitar signed by Tom Petty, police said.
Lompoc police worked together with Los Angeles police to arrest Daylan Isaacs, 35, who is a convicted felon. L.A. detectives were actively investigating a major storage commercial burglary in the Los Angeles area, including the stolen guitar signed by the late musician valued at more than $10,000, according to authorities.
L.A. detectives learned that Mr. Isaacs was attempting to sell the guitar in Lompoc on local social media sites. He was contacted and arrested near Walmart, at 700 W. Central Ave. “after he arrived there believing he was selling the guitar to a legitimate buyer,” police said.
The guitar was recovered and Mr. Issacs was found to be in possession of a loaded stolen handgun. Search warrants were served at a local motel and his residence, which revealed he was also in possession of large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine for sale. He was arrested on suspicion of a number of drug and firearm charges.
— Mitchell White
Vehicle theft warning issued
SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara Police Department issued a warning this week, reminding the public to lock their vehicles and remove spare keys from visible areas inside or around the vehicle.
Since January, the department has investigated 123 vehicle thefts, 64 of which have been reported since May, said Anthony Wagner, police spokesman.
The department issued a number of crime prevention tips, including:
- Remove valuables from your vehicle and remove hide-a-keys.
- Do not leave your car running and unattended, even for a short time.
- Contact the Police if you witness suspicious activity, especially activity in and around parking lots or neighborhoods.
- When able, park in well-lit areas.
- Install safety features in your vehicle.
- Close your windows.
In the event your vehicle is stolen, immediately contact local law enforcement and provide the year, make, model and license plate number and the timeframe of the theft. Residents are also reminded to contact their insurance provider regarding the theft.
— Mitchell White
Warning issued for phone, online scams
SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara Police Department’s Property Crimes Unit has issued a warning reminding residents to be cautious of various phone and online scams.
The scams that occur are often internationally based, though will represent a local area code using caller identification spoofing applications. The scams prey on unsuspecting residence and are persistent with their questions and threats, said Anthony Wagner, police spokesman.
In recent days, the police department has received reports from residents regarding scams in which the caller claims to be a representative from their financial institution and attempts to gain access to the victims’ computer remotely. The victims later find the callers were conducting wire transfers from their online accounts. Some calls have asked for victims to purchase gift cards to pay for debts that don’t exist, Mr. Wagner said.
Residents are reminded not to disclose financial information, social security numbers, addresses, or other personal identity information unless the caller can be verified. It is a scam if the caller asks you to purchase gift cards for payments of liens, debts, taxes, or other means.
Those who believe they are victims of a scam can access prevention resources and call for a federal investigation. To send a complaint or learn about other scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, and the FBI website at www.IC3.gov.
— Mitchell White