press release - 02231602

Goleta Man Arrested Shortly After Allegedly Committing Lewd Act Near Elementary School Thanks to Quick-Thinking Student


Goleta - February 23rd, 2016


A Goleta man is in custody and booked on charges of indecent exposure, committing a lewd act and annoying or harassing a minor.  Sheriff’s deputies arrested 43-year-old Jose Figueroa this morning, February 23, 2016, at his residence in Goleta shortly after the incident was reported.  At approximately 7:45 a.m., a 10-year-old girl was walking to school near the intersection of Berkley Road and Cambridge Drive when she observed a male suspect in the driver’s seat of his white, Nissan Altima committing a lewd act. The student managed to quickly memorize the license plate number and then ran away to get help.  She contacted a crossing guard who then notified the school and the authorities. 

Sheriff’s deputies responded immediately to the scene and searched the area but were not able to locate the suspect or his vehicle.  Because they had the license plate number, deputies were able to quickly trace the vehicle to a registered owner at a residence in the 100 block of Dearborn Place in Goleta. The vehicle was located outside the residence.  Figueroa was contacted and subsequently arrested.  

Sheriff’s deputies are also investigating the possibility that Figueroa is the same suspect reported in three other similar cases reported recently near schools in the Goleta area. 

The Sheriff’s Office wants to take this opportunity to applaud the 10-year-old student for the way she handled the situation and credit her actions as to why the suspect was apprehended so quickly. This case also serves as a reminder to, “If you see something, say something” and of the need for parents to inform children of important safety tips, especially those walking to and from school. 

Anyone with information on this case or any other incidents involving this suspect is asked to call the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip-Line at 805-681-4171. 


For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


Business Hours: (805) 681-4100

Copyright 2016 Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, All Rights Reserved