Carpinteria resident Francisco Hernandez, 24, was arrested early Sunday morning for two counts of residential burglary while the victims were inside the home, known as “hot prowl burglary.”

City police responded at 3:01 a.m. Sunday to a report of a residential burglary at an apartment on the 600 block of West Cota Street, read a Monday press release from the Santa Barbara Police. A male victim reportedly chased the suspect on foot to Ortega Street footbridge, where officers Ben Ahrens and Kristin Kim apprehended Hernandez.

Francisco Hernandez

Early that morning, Hernandez has reportedly entered the Westside apartment, home to multiple families living in separate rooms, through its unlocked front door. He allegedly stole money from a woman’s purse and searched her pants’ pockets while she was asleep in a bedroom. “The victim was roused slightly by this, however in her somnolent state believed she was being touched by a family member and not a stranger,” said the police press release.

When Hernandez reportedly entered a couples’ bedroom, the husband was awakened by the sound of dresser drawers opening. He thought the noise was being made by other housemates until he saw Hernandez steal his wallet from atop the dresser. Yelling at Hernandez to drop the wallet, he chased him to the footbridge while his wife called the police, who recovered the victims’ stolen property.

Hernandez was booked into County Jail on $50,000 bail. Because he is on probation for burglary, he was placed on a no-bail probation detainer.


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