Burglary Spree Suspect Arrested for Multiple Break-ins
The Santa Barbara Police Department received four reported residential burglaries occurring in the City of Santa Barbara in less than 24 hours. Officers responded to these burglaries to investigate further. The initial investigations led Officers to believe that the same suspect had committed all four burglaries. Information was provided through eyewitness descriptions, physical evidence, video surveillance, and cell phone photos supplied by witnesses.
On July 25, 2022, around 8 p.m., Officers were dispatched with lights and sirens to a residence on the 1300 block of Sycamore Canyon Road for a reported burglary in progress. When officers arrived, they discovered the suspect had already fled the area. The suspect was not located after Officers searched the neighborhood and surrounding area.
On July 26, 2022, around 8:30 a.m., the Santa Barbara Police Combined Communications Center received another report from a neighbor who observed a suspicious individual matching the description from the first residential burglary breaking into the same house on the 1300 block of Sycamore Canyon Road. While the suspect was exiting the victim’s home with numerous stolen items, the neighbor confronted the suspect. 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 now stolen vehicle prior to police arrival.
At 1:30 p.m., a witness reported a hit and run traffic collision in the 500 block of West De La Guerra Street. The witness informed police the suspect driver had crashed a Toyota sedan into a tree and fled on foot. The witness provided the license plate of the vehicle to the dispatcher, who confirmed it was the same stolen vehicle taken approximately 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 Street. The description provided by the neighbor matched that of the suspect from the other burglaries. Officers and a police K-9 surrounded the house. Officers could see the suspect through windows and gave verbal commands to exit the home. The suspect complied and was arrested without incident.
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.