The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office responded Wednesday to reports from community members of a suspected masked burglar allegedly trying to use power tools to enter the roof of a jewelry store on North Milpas Street.
The suspect, 37-year-old Santa Barbara resident Joel P. Morelos, attempted to flee after officers arrived, according to Ethan Ragsdale, public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department. Morelos allegedly tried to escape through an air vent into a neighboring business. Officers were eventually able to gain access to the roof and arrest Morelos.
Morelos was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail for attempted burglary, looting/theft during a state of emergency, vandalism, resisting arrest, providing a false name, and possession of burglary tools. Among the tools were a walkie-talkie, wire cutters, a crowbar, and two power saws. Morelos is currently being held on a $500,000 bail.
Other potentially related burglaries are being investigated, according to Ragsdale, but no other information is available at this time.