Fielding Graduate Staffer Arrested for Stealing Student’s Laptop

Ari Morguelan, 33, On Felony Probation for Previous Theft Conviction

Thursday, January 17, 2013
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Ari Morguelan
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Ari Morguelan

A staff member in Fielding Graduate Institute’s marketing department — who’s on felony probation for a Los Angeles theft conviction — was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing a student’s laptop and trying to sell it on Craigslist. Ari Morguelan, 33, was booked in Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $20,000.

According to SBPD spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood, a 28-year-old female student attending Fielding seminars at the Doubletree Resort called police when she discovered that her $1,200 laptop — left unattended in a conference room during the lunch hour — had gone missing. Upon review of security camera footage by authorities and a Fielding executive, Morguelan — working at the seminars that day — was named the suspect.

When an officer contacted Morguelan he denied any involvement in the incident, Harwood said. “He even challenged [the officer] to produce any evidence that implicated him in the crime.” Because of Morguelan’s probation status, the officer was able to search his car parked at the hotel, but he didn’t find the laptop, Harwood went on.

“However, upon looking through the contents of Morguelan’s iPhone, [the officer] found photographs of what appeared to be the victim’s computer taken from inside of Morguelan’s car,” Harwood said. “Additionally, upon looking at the phone’s web browser, [the officer] discovered that at 1:01 p.m. Morguelan had created a Craigslist posting, listing the computer sale for $900.”

Based on the the evidence, Morguelan was arrested for grand theft. Hours later, authorities searched his apartment on the 200 block of Old Mill Road and found the laptop in a bedroom closet. It was returned to the student.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

This not a real crime, these people were participating in a class called Common Sense 101 worst case scenario.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 5:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey, compared to the UC Irvine professor's plotting to kill his students, this is a relatively minor crime, BUT nevertheless NOT good PR for Fielding Graduate Institute !!

yendopostal (anonymous profile)
January 17, 2013 at 6:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

note to self... always remember to delete web browsing history. haha

sbsurfguy (anonymous profile)
January 18, 2013 at 8:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sounds like a very stupid staffer, which reflects on Fielding's hiring practices.

at_large (anonymous profile)
January 18, 2013 at 8:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I am intimately involved in this situation. Readers know this. The reason this petty crime was even picked up by the news is because Lt. Harwood called in a favor to her news contacts to attempt to discredit the accused. Why you might ask? Officers caused Ari a severe wrist injury and possible broken bones while conducting the arrest, as well as sexuality harassed his wife by going through her underwear drawer among other things; in an provocative and inappropriate manner along with other questionable actions while conducting their search. This is a blatant attempt at trying to discredit this individual before he is able to defend himself. Shame on the Independent staff who bend at the will of the police, smart people will see this. This is irresponsible journalism and borders on libelous.

As you can also see the article consist on basically one long quote from police, which shows you that the Independent staff is unwilling to write more then a few words of their own hand, which should indicate to you that this is favor for police. We live in a town where our news outlets do favors rather than inform people of legitimate news. Shame.

randallB (anonymous profile)
January 18, 2013 at 9:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

randallb; you seem to overlook that he is on felony probation for theft. a person on felony probation gives up any rights against search and seizure, AND they have him red handed on camera doing it.
also, how is looking at someones clothing in a drawer sexual harassment? that is nonsense.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
January 18, 2013 at 12:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice try, randallB, but as the other posted mentioned, when you're on FELONY probation, you give up many freedoms.

Than goodness Lt. Harwood called in that "favor" as you put it. Give me break! People NEED to know when they're around unscrupulous individuals and also need to feel safe along with their possessions, especially when attending a class they PAID a fee. Hello?

Who are you trying to protect here? Hmmmm

Barron (anonymous profile)
January 18, 2013 at 1:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gluteos - there is line between searching someones house and then searching someones house in a manner that violates civil rights or laws, even Felons have some rights. You were not there nor have you heard anything except this biased press release, so your comments are uninformed and unintelligent.

And Barron, just because someone is on probation does mean they give up some rights, but it does not justify unlawful or unjust action against them - that is the words of someone who maybe got his wallet stolen or something. The issue here is that there is a systemic problem with our justice system where people like this individual are presumed GUILTY first rather than innocent - even you speak as if you know he is guilty - and the effect that has on the court of public opinion is tremendous and creates a biased jury pool.

Both of you should take a moment to google the track record of the SBPD - since you think they are so squeaky clean. Cops can be criminals too - enlighten yourselves and learn my friends.

randallB (anonymous profile)
January 18, 2013 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

RandallB, Petty theft it wasn't.
Grand theft, also known as grand larceny, is defined as the intentional taking of property of others in an amount exceeding the state statutory amount. This is usually between $500 and $1000, but is $400 in California,
Do some reading.
He convicted himself of a felony by advertising the laptop for over $400.

khiggler (anonymous profile)
January 18, 2013 at 6:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

when randallb says he is "intimately involved with this situation" I do not doubt this for a second.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
January 19, 2013 at 1:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Randall B- Really? Are you serious with these postings? Personally, I think that he should have gotten his a** beat, so a little wrist strain is just karma coming back at him. Yes, all PD's have their black sheep and problems, but this wasn't the case. This wasn't the "man" against the people, this was a dumb criminal that stole from a dumb victim, and both of their roles in this crime was discovered by a little common sense policework.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
January 19, 2013 at 1:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Uh....Randall? You say you are involved? I haven't seen where you said he didn't steal the laptop, and I haven't seen where you said it wasn't in his home, and I haven't seen where you say he didn't post it for sale. Why not? All I see is you trying to divert attention. Smoke and mirrors 100%. Just sayin'.

azuresees (anonymous profile)
January 20, 2013 at 8:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I believe that RandallB is Ari B Morguelan. And if Ari B would stop blaming others for his problems and injuries and accept responsibility for his actions, then he wouldn't be in this predicament.

noname (anonymous profile)
January 20, 2013 at 2:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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