Law and Disorder

Two accidents claimed the lives of Highway 101 motorists this week. At about 10:30 a.m. on 4/27, a 58-year-old Lakewood woman died from injuries she sustained when her car veered off the southbound lanes and struck a utility pole near El Capitan State Beach. A collision between a vehicle and a motorcycle at 8:30 a.m. on 4/28 near El Sueno Road resulted in the cyclist’s death and a slow morning commute on the northbound 101. A CHP report said the cyclist was not wearing a helmet. (click here for more)

Santa Barbara Police are saying a 4/22 stabbing in front of the Pennywise Market at 1121 E. Montecito St. could be gang-related. According to witnesses, the 18-year-old victim was chased down Montecito Street and caught in front of the market, where he was stabbed multiple times. His injuries weren’t serious. The suspects fled in a vehicle.

Santa Barbara police arrested Craig Commadore, an account manager at Big Dog, Inc., for allegedly embezzling roughly $73,000. The company initially thought Commadore was responsible for taking $1,761, but after an investigation and his arrest on 4/25, police arrived at the higher sum.

Police arrested 51-year-old Frank Sanchez this weekend on charges of indecent exposure and felony sexual battery after he allegedly put his hands up the skirt of a 24-year-old passerby and sexually battered her on State Street at 12:45 a.m. on 4/26. Witnesses later said that Sanchez had exposed himself as well.

A police investigation into the theft of $32,000 raised for the Eastside Boys & Girls Club at a 4/18 auction ended in the arrest of 39-year-old Mychelle Garcia, one of the center’s employees, on grand theft charges. A search of Garcia’s home and another home on 4/23 yielded what police spokesperson Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte termed “a large amount of money suspected of being part of the donations.”

The Sheriff’s Department is seeking public assistance in finding a man who in January robbed Blenders in the Grass on Calle Real by ripping the cash register free and running out of the store with it. Photos of the man were sent to media outlets this week. Ironically, at the time of the robbery, the man was wearing a sweatshirt that bore the slogan “No snitching.” Anyone with information is urged to call 681-4150. (click here for more)

Five area fire agencies sent 17 firefighters to the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Riverside County to help fight the 540-acre Santa Anita Fire, which began on 4/26. By 4/28, more than 1,000 residents had been evacuated, but cooler weather helped more than 1,000 firefighters battle the burn, including some from Santa Barbara County, Carpinteria, Lompoc, Santa Maria, and the City of Santa Barbara.

The County Fire Department is warning residents about a scam in which people are falsely claiming to collect donations to benefit firefighters. Anyone who is phoned for such donations is encouraged to ask for contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, and names, and then pass those on to police or the Sheriff. Those wanting to donate to firefighters legitimately should visit sbfirefightersalliance.org.

The family of missing Goleta woman Victoria Cotton hopes a $5,000 rewarddonated by the Carole Sund Carrington Foundationwill be incentive enough for new information as to her whereabouts. Cotton, 52, was last seen in Goleta in July 2006. (click here for more)

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