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Community helps identify suspects, leads to five arrests in string of Santa Barbara burglaries

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Posted at 5:12 PM, Jan 25, 2022

Santa Barbara Police turned to the community in early January for help identifying two suspects they believed to be involved in a string of burglaries.

Those burglaries took place at a local church and children's center where police say six burglaries were reported over a five-day period.

Shortly after police reached out they received several tips ultimately leading to the arrest of the two suspects involved; Carla Rocha, a 23-year-old Santa Barbara resident, and Alex Francisco, a 19-year-old Ventura resident.

Rocha was located and arrested in the 100 West block of Cabrillo Blvd. on January 17, 2022. The next day, on January 18, 2022, Francisco turned himself in at the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Police say during a separate incident in December, officers investigated a robbery that occurred at a local smoke shop where three suspects and a get-away driver committed a robbery at gunpoint, taking the cash register.

Detectives who were working on this investigation developed information that led them to believe Francisco was involved in that robbery. Detectives say they were also able to identify the other three suspects and arrest them.

Police arrested all three on January 20. They found Vicente Herrera-Chavez, a 42-year-old Santa Barbara resident during a traffic stop where a loaded handgun and narcotics were found in his vehicle. Jose Arnulfo Munoz, a 25-year-old Santa Barbara resident was arrested and had narcotics and paraphernalia on him at the time of his arrest. Marcos Jorge Pecero-Martinez, a 37-year-old Goleta resident, was also placed under arrest for the warrant related to the robbery.

Detectives executed search warrants at a residence in the 300 block of West Valerio Street and located and seized evidence related to the robbery.

All five of them were transported and booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail facing multiple charges with bail ranging from $50,000 - $200,000.