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Santa Barbara police arrest burglary suspect for multiple break-ins

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Posted at 12:00 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 15:00:54-04

The Santa Barbara Police Department received four reports of residential burglaries occurring in the City of Santa Barbara in less than 24 hours.

The department says initial investigations led officers to believe that the same suspect had committed all four burglaries.

Witnesses provided descriptions, physical evidence, video surveillance and cell phone pictures.

On Monday, July 25, around 8 p.m., someone reported a burglary in progress on the 1300 block of Sycamore Canyon Rd.

Officers say when they arrived, the suspect already left the area.

The following day, around 8:30 a.m., Santa Barbara Police received another report from a neighbor who saw a suspicious person matching the description from the first residential burglary.

The witness says the suspect was breaking into the same house on the 1300 block of Sycamore Canyon Rd.

While the suspect was leaving the victim’s home with numerous stolen items, the neighbor confronted the suspect.

Police say a physical altercation occurred between the neighbor and the suspect. The suspect broke free of the neighbor’s grasp, dropping the stolen items and fled the area once again.

Around 1:10 p.m., another burglary was reported in the 1st block of Oak Street.

The victim of this burglary also reported that the suspect had stolen a key to their vehicle and fled in the car prior before police arrived.

At 1:30 p.m., a witness reported a hit and run traffic collision in the 500 block of West De La Guerra St.

The witness informed police the suspect driver had crashed a Toyota sedan into a tree and ran away.

The witness provided the license plate of the vehicle to the dispatcher, who confirmed it was the same stolen vehicle taken 20 minutes before from the home on Oak Street.

While Officers were searching the westside area for the suspect, a neighbor reported seeing a suspicious subject breaking into a home in the 300 block of West Micheltorena St.

The description provided by the neighbor matched that of the suspect from the other burglaries.

Officers say they surrounded the house with a police K-9 and could see the suspect through windows. The suspect complied with the officer's commands and was arrested.

The suspect was identified as 33-year-old Miguel Ascencio Torres, a Santa Barbara resident.

He was transported and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail for multiple felony counts of residential burglary, felony stolen vehicle and misdemeanor hit and run. Bail is set at $500,000.