Suspects arrested after alleged forgery
SANTA MARIA — After an hour-long search, Santa Barbara County deputies arrested two Santa Maria men on suspicion of several felonies stemming from their alleged attempt to defraud a bank.
On Tuesday at approximately 2:40 p.m., deputies were dispatched to a bank in the 1100 block of East Clark Avenue in Santa Maria for a report of a suspect attempting to cash a forged check.
Bank employees provided a great amount of detail of the suspect to sheriff’s dispatch while deputies responded to the area, said Raquel Zick, the sheriff’s office public information officer.
As deputies arrived, the suspect, 31-year-old Richard Martinez, fled the bank on foot, Ms. Zick said.
She added that the deputies chased the suspect, who entered a nearby discount store, then went out the back door.
With the assistance of several California Highway Patrol officers, a perimeter was established. During the search, a suspect, 31-year-old Carlos Alonso, was contacted in the area. After about an hour of searching and with the assistance of County Air Support and a Sheriff’s K9 Unit, Mr. Martinez was located in the 900 block of Patterson Road and arrested. It was later determined Carlos Alonso was Martinez’ accomplice.
Both suspects were transported to the Northern Branch Jail where they were booked for conspiracy (felony), burglary (felony), forgery (felony), and making a fictitious check (felony). Mr. Alonso is being held with $20,000 bail.
Mr. Martinez had several outstanding warrants and is being held without bail, Ms. Zick said.
— Katherine Zehnder
Suspect in CVS burglary arrested
SANTA BARBARA — Santa Barbara police have arrested Aszad Kenneth Prettipaul, 32, on suspicion of burglary at CVS, 1109 State St.
Santa Barbara Police Combined Communications Center received a notification that a burglar alarm was tripped at CVS, 1109 State St., around 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Officers responded and found the front door glass was broken, Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale told the News-Press.
Officers searched the interior of the property, but no suspect was located at this time, said Sgt. Ragsdale, the Santa Barbara Police Department’s public information officer.
Detectives assisted officers on this case, and during the investigation the possible suspect’s identity was discovered, Sgt. Ragsdale said.
Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, officers were dispatched to a call of a suspicious subject. Officers and detectives contacted the suspicious subject in the 500 block of East Arrellaga Street and determined probable cause existed to arrest the suspect for the CVS burglary, Sgt. Ragsdale said.
Mr. Prettipaul was booked in Santa Barbara jail on suspicion of felony commercial burglary and felony vandalism. Bail has been set at $20,000.
— Katherine Zehnder
State Route 246 pavement work to begin
LOMPOC — A project to pave and improve State Route 246 (Ocean Avenue) will begin Monday in Lompoc and continue each week until project completion in September 2023.
The improvement area goes west from V Street to State Route 1 (H Street), then on State Route 1 (east of H Street) to the separation with West 12th Street in Lompoc.
This roadwork will result in lane closures on State Route 246 and State Route 1 beginning Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This project includes new curb ramps and modifications to signal and lighting systems.
Caltrans said it expects the project will be interrupted from January to March because of low temperatures.
Signage will be in place to assist travelers. Delays will not exceed 10 minutes, according tro Caltrans.
The curb ramps will be closed for reconstruction with pedestrian detours in place. There may be intermittent closures of nearby side streets with detours in place.
The contractor for this $8 million project is Granite Construction Co. of Santa Barbara.
Caltrans would like to remind motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway work zones.
For traffic updates on other Caltrans projects in Santa Barbara County, call District 5 Public Affairs Office at 805-549-3237 or visit dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district%205.
— Katherine Zehnder