Two suspected burglars were arrested in Lompoc early Wednesday morning for allegedly cutting through a fumigation tent to steal from a home.
The house on the 400 block of South D Street sat empty until a fumigator arrived to work early, shortly before 5 a.m., and found a hole in the tent.
Concerned the perpetrators were still inside, the exterminator called police but due to the poisonous cloud of chemicals that filled the home, officers say they couldn’t enter until 7 a.m.
Once police entered the home, they say they found a man and woman preparing to scuddle away with a bag of stolen items.
The daughter of the man who owns the home that was burglarized said she was stunned someone would willingly expose themselves to dangerous chemicals.
“I don’t know if they knew exactly what fumigation is all about, I don’t know, it’s just beyond me that someone would even go near the place,” Carol Tennant said. “I mean, I took out paper (before the fumigation). I’m so fearful of all the poison, and then for someone to walk into it… willingly, ya, they’re pretty dumb.”
Tennant said she was thankful for the quick response from police and the fumigator, who reported the burglary.
An exterminator with Hornet Fumigation said exposure to the fumigation chemicals is a serious health risk that could lead to death.
Though the danger may seem like an obvious deterrent, the experts said similar crimes have occurred in Santa Barbara County in recent years.
Tennant said she would recommend others undergoing fumigation to hire a security guard or install cameras to ensure crooks don’t infiltrate the home while it sits vacant.
Before they could be booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail, the suspects had to undergo a medical assessment.
Their names have not been released but police said the woman is a Lompoc resident.