Santa Barbara police arrested a 47-year-old Buellton woman yesterday, December 5, who they say stole a delivery van while the delivery man was inside a store unloading merchandise Wednesday. According to Lt. Paul McCaffrey, the delivery man working for DHL Delivery Service left the keys of his van in the ignition while he was dropping off goods at Long’s Drug Store, 2973 State Street, and when he came outside, the van was speeding off south on State Street.
The man called police, who sent officers to the area. A Sheriff’s Department helicopter, which happened to be in the area and also heard the call, went on the lookout, and the pilot and spotter eyed the distinctive yellow van parked in the 2000 block of De La Vina Street. When police arrived, the van was parked unattended in front of the CARES mental health facility. The suspect, McCaffrey said, actually went into the CARES center to tell them she had taken the van, and she was arrested there without incident.
In her possession was a large butcher knife, which she allegedly told police she was thinking about using to harm herself and others. Police believe she also attempted to steal a vehicle at Educated Car Wash, 3735 State St., but employees there prevented the theft from happening.
The woman was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for auto theft and possession of a dangerous weapon.