Santa Barbara Police Arrest Suspected Jewelry Store Thief with Loaded Gun

Santa Barbara, California -March 18, 2024 – Detectives with the Santa Barbara Police Department have arrested a suspect in a string of recent crimes targeting local jewelry stores.

According to police spokesperson Ethan Ragsdale, one robbery and two grand thefts/burglaries occurred at three jewelry stores in Santa Barbara between February and March. The total value of the stolen jewelry was estimated at around $53,000, Ragsdale said.

Following weeks of investigation, detectives identified 40-year-old Santa Barbara resident Omar Velazquez Sanchez as the suspect in the case. On March 15 at around 10 p.m., SBPD detectives and the SWAT team arrested Sanchez near the intersection of Quintettos Street and South Milpas Street “without incident,” Ragsdale said.

According to Ragsdale, detectives located multiple items of jewelry on Sanchez during his arrest that police believe are from the involved jewelry stores. A loaded firearm with a removed serial number that’s believed to have been used during the one robbery was also found in the car Sanchez was driving, Ragsdale said. His bail was set at $250,000.

Click here to read the original article written by Jackson Friedman.

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