July 7

Behind the wheel

At 10 p.m. deputies responded to a call about an intoxicated man driving in the area of Highway 246 and McMurray Road. The driver, 31 of Santa Ynez, was seen headed (or swerving) toward Solvang. A deputy spotted the vehicle and stopped it at El Rancho Market. The man, who only had a Mexican license, failed a field sobriety test. He was booked into Lompoc City Jail, where authorities later learned he had a warrant for his arrest from San Luis Obispo County.


July 31

Key to her heart

A Los Olivos man called deputies and reported that his jealous ex-girlfriend keyed his vehicles. Deputies arrived at his residence around 4:20 p.m. He told them he left his home to feed his animals when he saw his ex-girlfriend leaving the barn near his driveway. He said she appeared to be raking the ground inside. He and his wife saw the suspect leave the area in a black sedan, but they couldn’t tell if anyone else was inside. After he checked the barn area, he noticed someone had keyed his Chevrolet Silverado and his white Toyota pick-up truck on the passenger sides. The man, 20, told deputies his ex-girlfriend keyed his cars to spite him out of jealousy. He said she had lived with him at the house and knew the gate code to enter the property. He estimated $3,000 in damages. The deputy gave him a case number and informed him to call the Sheriff’s Department if he had any more information about the crime. The deputy later called the ex-girlfriend, 25 of Santa Ynez, who denied keying his cars and said he had stolen her passport and $400 from her car shortly after their relationship ended. The woman said he returned the items after she confronted him. The deputy asked her why she didn’t report the incident. She said she was still smitten. Although the man and his wife identified the ex-girlfriend and her car during the incident, the woman’s parents said she was at the house watching television. The deputy forwarded the report to the District Attorney for review.


Aug. 1

Idle hands

A woman responsible for a string of thefts was arrested after security at the Chumash Casino caught her stealing the purse belonging to a sleeping patron. At 6:20 a.m. video surveillance captured the 23-year-old woman from Canoga Park taking the purse, which was hanging on the victim’s walking cane. She then retreated to a restroom. Casino security personnel confronted her when she exited and awoke the victim, who confirmed her purse was stolen. A search of the suspect’s purse yielded cell phones, credit and debit cards in other names, cash and payroll checks. The suspect refused to speak to deputies. The woman’s mother arrived and told deputies she, her husband, and their daughter had arrived at the casino the night before. At some point, they lost track of their daughter, whom the mother said is mentally challenged. The deputy questioned the suspect again, who admitted she “stole them all” from a theatre in North Hollywood. She said she did so because her phone service ended after she failed to pay her bill. The victim at the casino declined to press charges, so deputies released the woman. After an investigation, deputies learned that the woman had apparently stolen the items from actors working at the Antaeus Company in Los Angeles County. She contacted the victims, who all said a suspect matching the woman’s description had entered the theatre’s green room and made off with their items. She also reportedly stole money from a concession stand. The deputy questioned the suspect again and determined that she knew the difference between right and wrong. He forwarded the report to the District Attorney’s office.


Aug. 4

Rough ride

Deputies responded to a Solvang business, where an employee attempted to drive away only to discover his tires slashed. The victim, an employee of a restaurant, tried to leave his job and felt his car shaking. He checked his tires and noticed they were flat. He didn’t know who slashed his tires nor did he suspect anyone. He was given a case number and asked to call if he had more information. The cost of the tires was estimated at $300.


Double trouble

At 10:21 p.m. deputies responded to the Chumash Casino after security personnel apprehended two women, both of Pico Rivera, who were caught by surveillance video stealing items from the gift shop. The women were apprehended and separated. One said they were trying on bracelets and had given the items back to the salesperson. During questioning, the other woman showed them a keychain with a cat on it. She admitted she stole it, remarking, “I don’t know why. I don’t even like cats.” A search of the woman’s vehicle turned up the bracelets, a small amount of marijuana, a clear straw and a razor blade – but no receipts for the gift shop items. They also found two credit cards in another person’s name. The woman claimed she found them months ago, but she couldn’t explain why she hadn’t attempted to contact the owners since. The other woman had two bracelets in her possession.


Aug. 7

Tractor pull

A Santa Ynez man was arrested after he tried to remove a woman’s car from his property with a tractor. Deputies were dispatched to Meadowvale Road at 8:41 p.m. on a report of a domestic disturbance. Dispatch warned them that the man had used a sledgehammer or a pick axe on the woman’s vehicle. When they arrived, they drew their guns while the man was moving her parked vehicle with a backhoe tractor. The man, complying with orders, exited the tractor and was arrested. The woman said he was upset with her and asked her to leave the property by 7 p.m. She asked if she could stay longer, because she wasn’t feeling well. He then told her he wanted her out immediately and threatened to move her vehicle if she didn’t do so. The woman told deputies he was intoxicated when he attempted to move her vehicle. The man told deputies the woman had been living at his home off and on for several years. Deputies arrested him for tampering with a vehicle without the owner’s consent. He was booked into county jail.


August 8

Breaking up is hard to do

A woman called authorities after her ex-boyfriend threatened to beat her. At 1:43 a.m. deputies responded to a residence in Buellton, where a woman said her former boyfriend telephoned to inform her that he was outside of her home and wanted her to step outside so he could “beat the crap out of” her. Deputies arrived and searched the area but didn’t locate the man, 48, from Santa Barbara. The victim said she and the man had been in an off-and-on year-long relationship, which ended in February. While speaking to the deputy, the man called the woman’s cellular phone from a blocked number. The deputy answered and the ex-boyfriend identified himself. He was told to stop calling her or he would be arrested for harassment. The man told the deputy he had been victimized by the woman, but refused to meet the deputy to file a police report. The deputy noted the man sounded intoxicated. Around 3 a.m. the deputy was dispatched to the same home after someone had called a taxi cab to the woman’s residence. The deputy couldn’t recall the name of the caller, but confirmed that the person was a male. The deputy believed the ex-boyfriend had called and checked the man’s criminal history, which revealed multiple arrests for battery, domestic violence, DUI and drug possession. He advised the victim to contact Santa Barbara Superior Court to obtain a restraining order.


Wrong place, wrong time

A 9:04 a.m. a deputy observed a vehicle parked in a dirt turnout at the intersection of Edison Street and Highway 154. The deputy observed a man sleeping in the front seat and a dog in the back. He knocked on the window for a minute before the man awoke. The man exited the car and almost fell. The deputy noted he smelled of alcohol. The man said he had come from San Luis Obispo, where he had a few drinks at a bar. A roadside sobriety test confirmed that the man was under the influence. He was arrested and taken to the Solvang Sheriff’s substation, where a urine test showed he had THC and cocaine in his system. He was booked into Lompoc City Jail. The dog was taken to a nearby kennel