Suspicious Vehicle Report Leads to Arrest of Five People After Vehicle Found Packed with Stolen Merchandise
Goleta - December 14th, 2016
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies arrested five people yesterday, December 13, 2016, who were associated with a vehicle that was discovered packed with thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen property. The majority of the stolen items included brand-new, name-brand merchandise with tags and in some cases sensors still attached. The discovery was made thanks to a concerned citizen who reported a suspicious vehicle and persons associated with the vehicle and a deputy who was able to quickly locate the vehicle.
The citizen called Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center at approximately 8:40 a.m. to report a suspicious grey Toyota Camry parked at Girsh Park near the baseball fields. The citizen also reported seeing several subjects associated with the vehicle that appeared to be acting nervously, had wire cutters and were going in and out of the vehicle. Deputies responded to the scene, but the vehicle was no longer at the location.
Thanks to the description of the vehicle and the subjects, a Sheriff’s deputy was able to locate the vehicle a short time later at a nearby hotel parking lot in the 400 block of Storke Road. When the deputy approached the vehicle, he located a male subject standing by the driver’s side window and four occupants inside. Additional deputies responded to assist. The deputies observed that all of the subjects appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance and they observed several syringes in plain view. All of the suspects were detained without incident and the vehicle was searched.
During the search of the vehicle, deputies discovered thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen merchandise including brand-new, name-brand shirts, designer jeans, purses, wallets and backpacks. There were also numerous bottles of expensive perfume, costume jewelry and home security cameras. Deputies also found stolen credit cards, wallets, and burglary tools. The burglary tools included wire cutters, screwdrivers, flashlights and binoculars. They also found a small amount of heroin and drug paraphernalia.
The suspects were identified as being 23-year-old Michael Stewart of Santa Barbara who was on parole, 26-year-old Brennan Stevens of Lompoc who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, 29-year-old Ryan Stevens of Thousand Oaks, 29-year-old Skye Fabing who was on probation and 27-year-old Amanda Dicey of Lompoc who provided a false identity to deputies and had multiple warrants for her arrest.
All five suspects were booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on their outstanding warrants, conspiracy, possession of stolen property, identity theft, possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia and narcotics possession.
The Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the case to determine where the stolen items came from. If you have any information that would assist investigators, you are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 805-683-2724 or to leave an anonymous tip call 805-681-4171.
This case is a great example of the need to “if you see something, say something” and the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately. The Sheriff’s Office also wants to remind the public that thieves are especially active during the busy holiday season and are looking for crimes of opportunity. You are reminded to be vigilant about keeping vehicle and residential doors and windows locked and valuables out of plain view. Keep a close tab on packages that are being delivered to your door step and make arrangements to ensure that someone is there to receive them. Retailers should be extremely vigilant about checking identification with credit card/debit card purchases and to be mindful of shoppers with large, oversized bags. It is also a good idea to have extra personnel if possible keeping an eye on the merchandise and ensuring that items leaving the store have been properly purchased.
For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover
Business Hours: (805) 681-4100
Skye Fabing, 29
Amanda Dicey, 27
Stolen Merhandise Recovered