Sheriff’s deputies have arrested four people accused of stealing and selling a number of firearms.
According to spokesperson Drew Sugars, authorities responded last Friday to a home on Vega Drive in the City of Goleta. The resident had called to report that his home was burglarized while he was out of town.
Gun Theft Suspects
He told deputies, said Sugars, that a credit card, checks, and cash were missing, and that the thieves had stolen a set of keys and opened two gun safes out of which around 20 weapons were reportedly taken. The homeowner pointed deputies toward a tenant who was renting a converted garage on his property, saying he believed she was responsible.
Deputies arrested the tenant—48-year-old Rachel Beard—after determining she had in fact taken the guns and then sold them to people throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. She was booked on a no bail probation violation detainer and charged with residential burglary as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Detectives, said Sugars, tracked several of the guns to two people—Kevin Benavidez, 48, and Rancy Dillon, 32—and arrested them both in Santa Barbara on felon in possession of a firearm charges. John Lopez, 30, was arrested in Ventura and is being held on a no bail probation violation detainer.
While a total of seven guns were recovered, said Sugars, 13 are still unaccounted for. If anyone has any information that may help investigators, they are encouraged to call detectives at (805) 681-4150 or the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at (805) 681-4171.