Santa Barbara Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday arrested a 21-year-old Arkansas man suspected of burglarizing a number of Goleta homes in the Scripps Crescent Street area. The arrest came only hours after the Sheriff’s Department sent out a public alert warning residents of a man casing homes by posing as a door-to-door magazine salesperson. The alert included a physical description and the area where the suspect was last seen.
The department received numerous calls from Goleta residents throughout the day, said Sheriff’s spokesperson Drew Sugars. “In one case, a citizen on the 6000 block of Berkeley Road reported finding a prowler in their backyard who jumped over the back fence and ran away,” Sugars said in a prepared statement. Authorities searching the area located Mathew Hensley walking on North Fairview Avenue near Shirrell Way. After a short investigation, he was taken into custody and booked in County Jail with bail set at $200,000.
Hensley had reportedly been staying at a Santa Maria hotel with several other people who were also trying to sell magazines door-to-door throughout the county. “Goleta Police and the Sheriff’s office remind all residents to be alert when suspicious salespeople come to your door,” said Sugars. “Always ask for a Santa Barbara County issued business license and matching identification.”