This year’s Fiesta celebration passed without stabbings or shootings and with minimal apparent gang activity, though police noted increased felony arrests-33, up from 21 last year-as well as increased misdemeanors-104, up from 97. Aside from rounding up suspected gang members before Fiesta on probation violations, several groups took at-risk teens on field trips and beach outings during Fiesta, which could have lessened the potential for gang violence. (/fiestacrime)

Arguments and evidence introduction began this week in the trial of Ricardo Juarez, now a 15-year-old being charged as an adult in the State Street stabbing murder of 15-year-old Luis Angel Linares in March 2006. Jury selection has continued for several weeks, along with discussions about what evidence will be allowed at trial. Discussed on 8/5 was what portions of a tape-which features Juarez whispering in a holding cell with another juvenile about the crime-would be submitted.

Sheriff’s deputies on 7/31 arrested a Tanglewood man as part of an investigation into a 7/27 incident in which two people were shot in their garage, also in the Tanglewood area. Francisco Mejia Martinez, 20, was arrested on charges of attempted homicide and assault with a firearm, among other charges, and held at Santa Barbara County Jail on $1 million bail. The investigation is ongoing. (/tanglewoodarrest)

Sheriff’s deputies, working in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Campaign Against Marijuana Production, reported on 7/31 that a cannabis eradication effort resulted in the discovery of 34,996 plants throughout Los Padres National Forest. The total value of these plants was estimated by the Drug Enforcement Administration at more than $87 million. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Alex Tiplot said no arrests were made but that the culprits were likely Mexican nationals. (/pot807)

Statewide, vehicle thefts decreased by 8 percent from 2006 to 2007, stated a CHP report issued 8/4. In Santa Barbara County, however, the rate only decreased 2.7 percent, with 884 cars being stolen in 2006 and 860 in 2007. The rate of recovered stolen vehicles in the county mirrored state trends more closely, however, dropping by only one percent here and 1.5 in California in general. Honda and Toyota vehicles continued to be the most frequently stolen cars, trucks, and motorcycles. (/stolencars)

A 20-year-old man police say was intoxicated suffered only minor injuries after falling off a 30-foot cliff onto Hendry’s Beach on 7/29. The man wandered from his campsite in the Douglas Family Preserve overlooking Hendry’s around 4 a.m. and wasn’t found until three hours later by a woman walking her dog, roughly 30 feet below the edge of the cliff. The man had been visiting the area with a friend.

On 7/31, Judge Denise de Bellefeuille threw out some allegations made in actor Rob Lowe’s lawsuit against his former nanny Jessica Gibson. De Bellefeuille also tossed out some claims Gibson made against Lowe in a countersuit claiming that he sexually harassed her. The judge dismissed Gibson’s claim that the Lowes retaliated against her by filing a lawsuit, while dismissing the Lowes’ allegations that they were defamed by Gibson during and after her employment with the family. (/lowe807)


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