The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department along with the UCSB Police Department responded to a call of an armed robbery in the 6500-block of Sabado Tarde in Isla Vista on Monday.
A victim called 911 at approximately 10:22 a.m. to report that he and his roommate had been robbed at gunpoint in their apartment.
“When (Sheriff’s deputies) arrived, they contacted two victims who said they had been robbed at gunpoint inside their residence by three suspects,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Raquel Zick said in a statement. “The suspects were described as a white male adult wearing all black clothing with a ski mask who was armed with a handgun; a white male adult wearing a camouflage jacket, armed with a handgun; and a black male adult wearing all black who was unarmed.”
According to the sheriff’s office, the suspects are associated with a newer-model BMW 3-series that has a 6 in the license-plate sequence.
Residents in and around the area quickly became aware of the robbery through various sources.
“Honestly, I felt like this area was pretty safe until now,” said Akshay Heda, a student at UCSB. “I thought we were close to the police station, close to all the campus stuff, and I didn’t expect this street and this part of the street to have this kind of armed robbery and stuff.
“I didn’t have class at the time, but I was going to go to my friend’s house. I just ended up staying in my house the rest of the morning because I’d been told not to leave.”
Mr. Heda admitted that he will take added safety precautions moving forward while he continues to live in the area.
“Usually, me and my friends all leave our doors unlocked. We just walk into each other’s houses without knocking or even letting each other know that we’re coming, but I guess now we’ve got to keep our doors locked,” he said.
According to Ms. Zick’s statement, one of the victims had minor injuries that did not require immediate medical attention, while the other victim was uninjured.
“The suspects stole two laptops, a cell phone, a wallet and an unknown amount of marijuana,” the statement read. “It is believed that the victims were specifically targeted.”
Another local resident, Brandon Nadell, told the News-Press that he learned of the robbery while on his way back from his class at UCSB.
“I was biking back from class with my friend, and we both got phone calls and texts, because (the victims) live across the street,” Nadell said. “I wasn’t here when it happened … and I stayed away until they sent out (a message) that it was Ok to come back here.”
The investigation, according to the sheriff’s department, is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the robbery is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office anonymous tip line at (805) 681-4171.