Reports of two alleged sexual assaults and suspected kidnappings near the west edge of Isla Vista on Monday have sent Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives and UCSB Police searching for the suspect responsible, described by Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Raquel Zick as a “college-aged male with dark hair” who is possibly associated with a tan-colored ’90s-era Toyota or Honda.
The Sheriff’s Office released details on the timeline of the assaults, as well as information on safety tips, self-defense classes, and escort services for Isla Vista residents, in a statement on Thursday.
According to Zick, the Sheriff’s Office and UCSB Police respond to several reports of “sexual assaults and possible kidnappings” near the Camino Del Sur edge of Isla Vista on Monday, February 28. The first report of an indecent exposure came just after 5 p.m.
Around 7 p.m. the same night, authorities received the next report, this time of a suspect approaching a woman near Camino Del Sur and Sueño Road, “fondling her breast while covering her mouth,” and fleeing in a vehicle. Ninety minutes later, UCSB Police received another report of a similar “non-consensual fondling” near the West Campus Family Housing.
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Throughout the night, Zick said, Sheriff’s deputies — with the assistance of County Air Support and a K-9 unit — searched for the suspect and the car associated with the crimes but no arrests were made. Authorities received tips about possible sightings that night but they did not locate the suspect, and have not made any identifications since.
Detectives assigned to the case have been following up on calls from the community, as well as tips received online. The Sheriff’s Office and UCSB Police have also upped patrols in Isla Vista and on campus. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to share updates on this case, including any arrests made, as soon as that information becomes available.
If the public has information about the incidents that might assist in the investigation, they are encouraged to contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at (805) 681-4100, or report crime information anonymously at www.sbsheriff.org/anonymoustips.html. For UCSB Police, please contact the UCSB Police Department at (805) 893-3446, or report crime information anonymously at www.police.ucsb.edu/report-crime.
UCSB Police also provides escorts for those walking alone at night. For information, call (805) 893-2000. To request an escort, visit https://www.police.ucsb.edu/cso/cso-safety-escorts.