Man arrested in theft, prowling
ISLA VISTA — An Isla Vista man has been arrested in connection with a pair of recent thefts and prowling incidents, police said.
Juan Carlos Cerna, 26, who was staying in the Isla Vista “tent city” was arrested Wednesday by police detectives, with the assistance of a parole agent. He was arrested on suspicion of two counts of theft, two counts of prowling and a violation of his parole. Mr. Cerna, who was on parole for burglary, was found to be in possession of illegal brass knuckles and was charged with an additional weapons violation, said Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
On Feb. 5, a bicycle was stolen from the side yard of a residence in the 3700 block of San Remo Drive. The owner provided police with surveillance video of the incident, Mr. Wagner said.
That same day, police received a report of a person who stole a package from a residence in the 3700 block of Lincolnwood Drive. After reviewing surveillance video of that incident, police identified Mr. Cerna as the suspect in both thefts, Mr. Wagner said.
“The victims in both cases used social networking websites, such as Ring Neighbors, to see the crime trends in their neighborhood and recognize the mutual theft suspect,” Mr. Wagner said. “Ring Neighbors is an extension to the Ring surveillance system which allows residents to post videos of suspicious activity in their neighborhood and interface with SBPD Investigators. The use of modern ‘neighborhood watch’ platforms help make a safer community.”
Those who witness any suspicious activity are urged to contact police at 805-882-8900.
— Mitchell White
Coroner: woman died of natural causes
SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department’s Coroner’s Office announced Thursday that local community activist Brandy Vaughan died from natural causes.
On Dec. 7, 2020, Ms. Vaughan, 44, was found down in the bathroom of her East Sola Street residence. Paramedics were dispatched and performed life-saving measures, but were unsuccessful. The Santa Barbara Police Department responded to the scene and investigated the circumstances surrounding her death, and the investigation found no signs of foul play or anything suspicious to warrant further investigation, Lt. Erik Raney, sheriff’s spokesman, said in a news release.
Since the death occurred outside the direct care of a medical doctor, the investigation was turned over to the Coroner’s Bureau to determine the cause and manner of death.
The investigation included an autopsy, in-depth toxicology screening, interviews and review of medical records. It was determined that the manner of death was “Natural, caused by bi-lateral Pulmonary Thromboembolus,” Lt. Raney said.
The Coroner’s Office has concluded its investigation and will be finalizing reports and updating the State of California death certificate accordingly.
Ms. Vaughan was a former Merck pharmaceutical representative and was an outspoken critic of mandatory vaccinations and pharmaceutical companies.
She founded nonprofit organization “Learn The Risk” in a bid to educate people “on the dangers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines and unnecessary medical treatments,” according to its website.
— Mitchell White