Aug 11, 2010 9:02 PM by Nancy Chen
A man is in jail tonight, accused of a three-month crime spree that's put a town on high alert.
There have been 45 thefts and burglaries of cars and homes in the San Miguel area since May.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's investigators arrested Matthew Colligan near train tracks after a chase yesterday in downtown San Miguel, just blocks from his home.
The owner of the store where he was spotted on Tuesday told KSBY News that Colligan was a regular customer of his and paid cash for an energy drink with alcohol just minutes before police started chasing him.
It wasn't their first encounter with Colligan. The 23-year-old took off from his home in San Miguel last Friday after Sheriff's deputies recovered a gun, skill saw and other appliances there.
A woman who answered the door at his home told KSBY News Colligan lived there with his girlfriend, who declined to be interviewed.
A CHP helicopter, patrol cars and base security for Camp Roberts nearby were involved in that hunt.
One local business owner says all the recent crime chased at least one of his neighbors away.
"He moved in on Wednesday and moved out on Sunday because somebody broke into his business over the weekend," said Sid Carter, who owns an upholstery store downtown.
The Sheriff's Department is still looking for at least one other person connected to the case, and says others may be involved as well.
People who live in San Miguel say they'll stay on the lookout.
"It's been making us all very uncomfortable," said Linda Mohling, a San Miguel resident. "We've just been locking our cars and watching our property a little more closely than usual."
Colligan remains at the San Luis Obispo Jail on two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of burglary.
His bail was set at $70,000.
The city will be holding a community meeting 6 p.m. Thursday at the Mission San Miguel Parish Center with the CHP and Sheriff's deputies about the break-ins.
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