Santa Barbara police have linked a series of crimes — drug dealing, grand theft, robbery, and felony assault — that have occurred downtown in recent weeks to Andrew Holmberg, 22, Charles Taylor, 25, and Justin Moore, 30. Holmberg and Taylor are booked in County Jail on several charges, and authorities are currently looking for Moore; detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for him.
The first in the series of crimes occurred near the Paseo Nuevo shopping center on September 19 after Moore allegedly stole a BMW 550i out of one of the mall’s parking lots. An investigation revealed that the suspects allegedly stole the car keys and other possessions from an unidentified man from Ventura while he was heavily intoxicated at the shopping center. Holmberg allegedly tried to later sell some of the victim’s personal property that had been in the stolen car.
Downtown Crime Suspects
Two and a half weeks later, narcotics detectives — who had received several complaints of drug deals taking place near De la Guerra Plaza — focused their investigation on Holmberg after learning he was selling LSD at the location. On October 11, Detective Greg Hons (who had been investigating the aforementioned auto theft) obtained a search warrant — for both stolen property and narcotics — for Holmberg’s residence on the 1400 block of Castillo Street, where he lived with his 19-year-old girlfriend, Linda Oglestrand.
As detectives continued the auto-theft and narcotics investigations, another officer found that Holmsberg and Taylor allegedly accosted a victim near 11:30 p.m. on October 11. After the suspects struck the victim on the back of the head and then repeatedly kicked his head — causing the victim to suffer a broken jaw — they reportedly stole the victim’s cell phone and wallet that had $900 in cash in it. The next day, the victim was on the 700 block of State Street when Taylor allegedly approached and punched the victim on the right side of his face, causing him to suffer an orbital fracture. Detectives believe possible motives could be that the victim had stolen property from the suspects or had cooperated with police in the past.
On October 16, SBPD detectives observed Oglestrand, Holmberg, Taylor, and two others driving on the 00 block of Haley Street. After detectives stopped the car and detained the occupants, they searched the vehicle and the passengers per the search warrant previously obtained for Holmberg and Oglestrand’s residence. Detectives found 0.7 grams of psilocybin and $432 in cash on Olegstrand; 14.7 grams of psilocybin, 0.6 grams of ecstasy, LSD, scales and packaging, and $517 on Holmberg; and less than an ounce of marijuana on Taylor. Michael Miller, one of the other two passengers, was in possession of ecstasy and LSD. The other passenger (an 18-year-old female whose name is not being released) had an outstanding juvenile arrest warrant and was later booked in juvenile hall. Miller was also arrested and charged with possession and transportation of ecstasy and LSD. His bail was set at $30,000.
Also per the aforementioned warrant, detectives searched Holmberg and Oglestand’s residence and found 58 grams of psilocybin, 6 grams of ecstasy, 100 grams of marijuana, and personal property believed to be from inside the BMW that was stolen from the Paseo Nuevo parking lot in September.
At the time of the traffic stop, Holmberg was arrested for a slew of charges including the following: possession, transportation, and intent to sell drugs; possession of stolen property; robbery, battery resulting in bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon. His bail is set at a total amount of $100,000. Taylor was also arrested and charged with robbery, battery resulting in a bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon. His bail was set at $50,000. Oglestrand was arrested and charged with possession, transportation, and intent to sell drugs. Her bail was set at $30,000.
Continuing investigations revealed several other previous crimes allegedly linked to the group. Taylor allegedly punched a 59-year-old-man in the face in De la Guerra Plaza on October 12. The man approached Taylor and others and inquired about his wife’s missing iPad, which she had just lost while at Macy’s. This case has been referred to the District Attorney’s Office.
Another investigation found that Holmberg and Taylor were involved in a fight that occurred on the 500 block of Anacapa Street the night of October 15. The two allegedly beat a 49-year-old homeless man and caused him to lose consciousness. The investigation found that Holmberg and Taylor allegedly targeted the victim because they believed he talked to the police about a crime that occurred the night before.
Holmberg and Taylor were again arrested on October 17 — while they were already in custody at the County Jail — and booked for additional charges including the following: intimidating a witness, battery resulting in bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon; both men’s bail increased by $100,000.
Moore was arrested in San Francisco on October 30 by San Francisco police officers because Detective Hons had obtained a $20,000 arrest warrant for Moore for the incident at Paseo Nuevo on September 19. Moore posted bail and was later released. He is scheduled to appear in court on December 2.
Now, Santa Barbara detectives have an arrest warrant for Moore because he is suspected to be involved in a fight in September. Investigations identified Moore and Holmberg as two of three suspects who allegedly attacked and then repeatedly kicked a 46-year-old homeless man until he lost consciousness on the 700 block of State Street at night on September 26. Detectives again arrested Holmberg while in custody and charged him with battery resulting in bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon. His bail was set at an additional amount of $50,000. Further details about that incident and the identity of the third suspect have not been released.