Arson and Vandalism at Goleta’s Girsh Park May Be Connected, Authorities Say

Sheriff’s Office and County Fire Investigating Whether Vandalism and Shed Fire Are Related

Credit: Courtesy of Goleta Chamber of Commerce

[Update 8/20] With fall baseball in full swing, American Riviera Bank announced a fundraising effort to replace Dos Pueblos Little League’s equipment, which was destroyed in the storage shed that burned down in a suspected arson at Girsh Park on Tuesday night. The bank will match up to $7,500 of the $30,000 anticipated to be needed to replace the destroyed equipment. Many of the bank’s employees played ball at Girsh Park themselves.

“My son played ball there, and my husband coached the Little League teams there,” said Joanne Funari, executive vice president for the bank. “We love this community and we are honored to help.”

American Riviera Bank’s Goleta branch at 5880 Calle Real is where the fundraising account for the league is located. Donations may also be made online or at any of the bank’s other locations.

[Original Story] An act of vandalism reported at Girsh Park on Wednesday morning may be connected to a shed fire in the same park the night before, according to a statement from Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Raquel Zick.

Credit: City of Goleta

Deputies responded to take the report on the vandalism, which was said to be a scrawled reference to “burning” written on the park sidewalk near the playground and Hochman Family Plaza. The reference to burning led Sheriff’s deputies to suspect that the message was related to a shed fire in a different part of the park the previous night.

County Fire and Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a burned-down storage shed, which is suspected to be arson. The investigation is ongoing, with Sheriff’s deputies coordinating with the County Fire investigator to determine if the two crimes are related. 

Zick said anyone with information about the vandalism is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau at (805) 681-4150, anonymously through the tip line at (805) 681-4171, or online at

Support the Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or a single contribution.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.