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Santa Maria resident arrested after allegedly making criminal threats against SMPD officers

Posted at 9:14 PM, Feb 18, 2023

On Friday the Santa Maria Police Department initiated an investigation after receiving information about SMPD officers and their families being threatened via social media posts.

Officers identified 34-year-old Albert Varelas as a suspect and say they located his social media account.

During the investigation, police say Varelas continued making threatening posts on social media. In Varelas' posts, police said he threatened to kill officers and their family members.

Upon further investigation, SMPD officers found Varelas was targeting and stalking the homes of officers in the Santa Maria area, according to a press release.

On Saturday, the investigation was taken over by the SMPD Detective Bureau. Police say detectives tracked Varelas to a location in the Orcutt area near Foster Road and Hummel Drive.

On Saturday, with assistance from the Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Department Patrol Division and the SMPD Patrol Division, SMPD Detectives arrested Varelas without incident.

He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on the criminal threats warrant, according to police.

SMPD encourages anyone with information related to this investigation to contact SMPD Detective Eduardo Servin at (805) 928 – 3781 x1362, or the SMPD Communications Center at (805) 928 -3781 x2277.