The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office arrested David Marguan Lara Mendoza, 20, of Goleta for first-degree burglary and robbery after they said he broke into a home on the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive on October 13.
Lara Mendoza reportedly broke into a home through an unlocked side door and began stealing items from the living room. Deputies said two people were home in a bedroom in the back of the home. Another resident returned home and saw Mendoza in the living room.
They said the two became involved in a physical fight when the resident tried to stop Mendoza from leaving with the stolen property.
Lara Mendoza ran from the property but was reportedly found by law enforcement two hours later, arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail.
Deputies said this is the latest of several burglaries reported to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol involving cases of a suspect entering homes through an unlocked door or open window.
The Sheriff’s Office is releasing tips on how to protect homes to prevent burglaries:
- Keep doors and windows closed and securely fastened
- Secure sliding glass doors
- Lock attached garages and do not rely on automatic lock systems
- Keep perimeter of homes well-lit
- Never leave clues that you are away from your home
- Entrust neighbors to collect mail and deliveries while you are away
- Report all suspicious activity to law enforcement