Duo Steals Dead Man’s Guns

Grabbed Safe out of Home; More than 30 Weapons Recovered

Two men were arrested earlier this month, reported Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars, who stole dozens of guns from the home of a man who had recently passed away.

On August 3, wrote Sugars in a press release, detectives were told that someone had broken into a home on the 4600 block of Atasco Drive, the owner of which had died a month previous.

Recovered guns
Click to enlarge photo


Recovered guns

Authorities figured out that a large gun safe filled with assault rifles, shotguns, and pistols had been taken, eventually determining that a next-door neighbor, Joe Luis Lopez, moved the safe to his home before taking it somewhere else.

On the morning of August 18, Sugars continued, Sheriff’s detectives and an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives served a search warrant at a home on the 5000 block of Ella Lane and found the stolen guns. More than 30 were recovered, said Sugars.

Lopez and James Allan Dunning, who lives in the Ella Lane residence, were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of residential burglary and various drug-related charges. Both of their bails are set at $50,000.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Competition Growing for Available Drinking Water

New UCSB study determines less potable groundwater exists than previously thought in U.S.

Gas Company Launches New Conservation Program

SoCalGas asks Californians to 'Dial It Down' through a high-demand alert.

Amgen Tour 2019 to Visit Santa Barbara

Stage Five of the arduous event will pass through county next May.

Volunteers Needed for Storm-Readiness Effort

County requests citizen help to collate and distribute information.

E-Scooters Banned in Goleta

City Council votes for an immediate but possibly temporary ban while pilot program is developed.