Santa Barbara police officers arrested a Santa Barbara resident suspected of four residential burglaries in less than 24 hours on Tuesday, July 26.
The initial investigations into the burglaries led officers to believe that the same suspect had committed all four residential burglaries. Information was provided through eyewitness descriptions, physical evidence, video surveillance, and cell phone photos supplied by witnesses.
The first burglary occurred on Monday, July 25, around 8 p.m. Officers were dispatched to a residence on the 1300 block of Sycamore Canyon Road for a reported burglary in progress, but the suspect had fled the residence by the time officers arrived.
The next day, Tuesday, around 8:30 a.m., police received a report from a neighbor who observed a suspicious individual matching the description from the first residential burglary breaking into the same house on the 1300 block of Sycamore Canyon Road. The neighbor confronted the suspect as he left the residence with numerous stolen items. A physical altercation occurred between the neighbor and the suspect, resulting in the suspect breaking free of the neighbor’s grasp, dropping the stolen items, and fleeing the area once again.
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Another burglary was reported in the first block of Oak Street at around 1:10 p.m. During this incident, the victim reported the suspect had stolen a key to their vehicle and fled in the vehicle prior to police arrival.
At 1:30 p.m., a witness reported a hit-and-run traffic collision in the 500 block of West De la Guerra Street, after the driver of a Toyota sedan crashed into a tree and fled on foot. The witness provided the license plate of the vehicle to the dispatcher, which confirmed it was the same stolen vehicle from the home on Oak Street.
While officers searched the Westside area for the suspect, a neighbor reported seeing a suspicious person breaking into a home in the 300 block of West Micheltorena Street. The description provided by the neighbor matched that of the suspect from the other burglaries, prompting officers and a police K-9 to surround the house, and command the suspect to exit the home.
The suspect, later identified as 33-year-old Miguel Ascencio Torres, complied and was arrested without incident. He is being held in Santa Barbara County’s Main Jail with bail set at $650,000.