Man arrested for alleged kidnapping and robbery
SANTA BARBARA — Santa Barbara police have arrested a man on suspicion of kidnapping and robbery.
Around noon Wednesday, the Santa Barbara Police Department received a report of a possible kidnapping and robbery that occurred in the area of Loma Alta Drive.
The victim of the alleged crimes reported that an unknown man stole her cell phone and dragged her by her neck for 100 yards. The victim described the area where the incident occured and told the officers that it was near a transient campsite located on private property on the hillside of Loma Alta Drive.
The victim was able to capture several photos of the suspect after he threw her cellphone back at her and showed the photographs to officers. One of the officers immediately recognized the suspect as Andre Mark Thomas, a 31-year-old transient. Mr. Thomas was arrested on April 8 for two unrelated misdemeanor warrants.
Mr. Thomas was in jail for approximately four days and was released just prior to this attack occurring.
Officers were able to establish probable cause to arrest Mr. Thomas and conducted an extensive search immediately after the incident, but were unsuccessful in locating him.
Later that evening, officers returned to the area where Mr. Thomas’ campsite was located in an attempt to question him.
Just after midnight, officers located Thomas in the 400 block of Loma Alta Drive and arrested him on suspicion of felony kidnapping and robbery. He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Main Jail and is being held on $100,000 bail.
The victim of the alleged crimes suffered minor injuries.
— Katherine Zehnder