A robbery victim and several Santa Barbara citizens are being credited by police as having caught a criminal on Tuesday, December 9.

According to police reports, 55-year-old Ray Charles Williams allegedly took a woman’s wallet from her purse at her place of business on North Calle Cesar Chavez. When the woman realized this, she grabbed Williams and refused to let go of him, despite the fact that he was punching her. Williams dragged her north on Calle Cesar Chavez before the woman finally lost her grip near the intersection of Calle Cesar Chavez and Yanonali Street. The woman’s cries for help, however, were heard by four City of Santa Barbara workers, who then followed Williams as he climbed onto a Highway 101 overpass, sat down briefly, and took the money from the woman’s wallet. Then, as one worker continued to follow on foot as Williams headed toward Yanonali Street, the others drove there, where they met Williams and detained him until police arrived.

Police say that a search of Williams revealed $600 and drug paraphernalia. He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of robbery, burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and animal cruelty. The last of these charges stems from the fact that the woman was holding her dog at one point while Williams was allegedly punching her and, consequently, the dog was punched as well.


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