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County Lines for August 13, 2009

/ Source: Santa Maria Times


Attempted murder suspect flees after chase, crash

A Highway 101 pursuit, reportedly involving an attempted murder suspect ended in a rollover crash Wednesday night, according to emergency dispatch reports.

The suspect crashed around

8:30 p.m. on the highway near the Santa Maria Speedway, and reportedly ran away.

Law enforcement officers were looking for the suspect following the crash, according to emergency dispatch reports.

Additional information wasn't available Wednesday night.

Arroyo Grande

Man arrested on suspicion of identity theft, fraud

An Arroyo Grande police investigation resulted in the arrest of a Ventura County man, who was allegedly involved in identity theft and manufacturing counterfeit checks and identification cards.

Officers booked Jacob Degrande, 39, into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of eight felony charges related to ID theft, check fraud and possession of stolen property.

Arroyo Grande police served a search warrant on Degrande's Ventura residence Wednesday with the assistance of the Ventura Police Department, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Postal Service.

Santa Maria

Man suffers burns in cooking fire

A Santa Maria man was treated for second-degree burns Wednesday after a cooking fire broke out at his home near North Blosser and West Donovan roads, according to Santa Maria fire officials.

When fire personnel arrived at the 1700 block of North Dejoy Court, the flames had already been doused, but smoke had filtered throughout the house, said Capt. Leonard Champion.

The man, who was the sole occupant at the time, received second-degree burns to his left arm and neck and was treated at the scene, then transported to Marian Medical Center, Champion said.

Central Coast

State bond to help pay for transit projects

Transit-center projects in two North County cities are poised to benefit from funding through a state transportation bond, Caltrans announced Wednesday.

Santa Maria and Lompoc are set to receive $340,699 and $283,237 respectively for the projects. The money will cover some of the costs of both developments.

The funding is meant to support public-transit and air-quality projects to upgrade transit service, purchase eco-friendly buses, modernize transit stations, build new park-and-ride facilities and for other transit-related purposes that will reduce emissions, Caltrans said.

A total of 107 projects across the state will receive $235.4 million from Proposition 1B - a 2006 transportation bond.


Arrest made in 1999 kidnapping case

DNA testing has led to the arrest of a suspect in a 10-year-old kidnapping and attempted rape investigation, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department announced Wednesday.

Fred Jeffrey Gore, 46, was taken into custody Tuesday on suspicion of an attempt to commit rape and kidnapping with intent to commit rape. He was living in an area close to where the attack allegedly happened in Goleta, said Drew Sugars, a sheriff's spokesman.

Gore was being held in Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

Anyone who may have been the victim of a similar attack dating back to the late 1990s is urged to call detectives at 681-4150 or anonymously at 681-4171.

Early on the morning of July 9, 1999, an adult female reported being kidnapped in a minivan on State Street in Santa Barbara and being taken to a remote location north of Winchester Canyon Road in Goleta, where the suspect sexually forced himself upon her. She was able to get away and call police.

Evidence on the women's clothing was collected and a DNA sample was located.

No match was found at that time in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

However, a DNA sample match was found this June.


Three hurt, one seriously, in Highway 101 crash

Three Lompoc residents on their way to Santa Barbara were injured, one seriously, early Wednesday morning when their vehicle spun into the center median of Highway 101 just south of Mariposa Reina, causing the car to roll and land on its roof.

The driver of the 1993 Honda Accord, 22-year-old Rachel Cook, lost control when the car's right rear tire blew out around 7:45 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Matthew Ernberg, 20, suffered major injuries when he was ejected from the back seat; he did not appear to have been wearing a seat belt, the CHP said.

Cook and Jason Carrillo, 21, who was the front passenger, suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital. They were wearing seat belts, the CHP said.

One lane of southbound Highway 101 was blocked for about 30 minutes after the crash.

Shortly after the crash, two other vehicles were involved in a minor collision just north of the rollover, said Capt. David Sadecki of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. One person from the minor crash was taken to a hospital for treatment, he said.

San Luis Obispo

Three arrested on suspicion of burglary

Three Santa Maria residents have been arrested on suspicion of burglary in San Luis Obispo.

Juana Cristana Arevalo, 18; Carlos Reyes, 18; and a 17-year-old boy were arrested Tuesday, according to San Luis Obispo police, and investigators believe the trio are tied to at least 15 car burglaries that have occurred in San Luis Obispo County.

Around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, an undercover team saw Arevalo and the

17-year-old minor, whose name was not released, park a dark Dodge and walk through a San Luis Obispo parking lot looking into parked vehicles, according to police.

A short time later, the undercover team reportedly found a recently burglarized vehicle in the lot, and police stopped the suspects.

Additional stolen property was found at the time of the arrest, and later at three residences in Santa Maria, police said.

Reyes, who surrendered himself at the police department Wednesday afternoon, was not present during Tuesday's burglaries but has been tied to other similar burglaries, according to police.

Kern County

Search and Rescue trainees help fisherman

Members of the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue team were undergoing swift-water rescue training Saturday on the Kern River when they were able to put their skills to use.

A fisherman was swept downstream and trapped in a recirculating hydraulic rapid a few hundred yards from where the team was training, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Team members reached the man just as he was pulled out of the water by another fisherman, and assessed and treated the man, who had suffered head, chest, abdomen and leg injuries.

Other team members brought oxygen, a backboard, a stretcher and other medical gear over rough terrain, and rescue team members coordinated with the Kern County Sheriff's Aviation Department to hoist the injured man out of the canyon.

He was flown to Kern Medical Center Trauma Center in Bakersfield.

Santa Maria

Enrolled AHC students charged more fees

Students who have already registered for the fall semester at Hancock College, paying $20 per class unit, will be sent an invoice billing them an additional $6 per unit, Hancock officials said, because the recently approved state budget raised enrollment fees at all 110 California community colleges.

Students who register in person beginning Aug. 18 will pay $26 a unit at the time of registration.

"Any time fees are raised it affects students, however even at $26 a unit, California community colleges, including Hancock, remain the most affordable community colleges in the United States," said Hancock Superintendent/President Jose Ortiz.

Financial aid remains available, and Ortiz noted that Hancock distributed more than $4 million in grants and scholarships last year to students who applied for aid.

The application form for a fee waiver is a four-page document available in the printed class schedule and in the fall schedule posted online at, as well as in the college's financial aid offices at its Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang and Vandenberg Air Force Base locations.

Fall in-person registration is Aug. 18-19 at those four Hancock locations.

Call (866) DIAL AHC (342-5242), Ext. 3248, for registration details.

Arroyo Grande

Man arrested after truck crashes into home

An 18-year-old Arroyo Grande man was arrested Tuesday night after he allegedly crashed his pickup truck into a house and then drove away, only to be apprehended by a witness, police said.

Austin James Field was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or drugs, property-damage hit-and-run driving and operating a motor vehicle without current vehicle insurance.

Field, who did not complain of any injuries from the crash, was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail, police said.

Arroyo Grande Police Department investigators said Field's 2002 Ford pickup crashed into a house in the 600 block of Cerro Vista Circle, traveling through the garage and into the family room before coming to a stop around 9:20 p.m.

He then allegedly drove the pickup out of the house and fled, leaving behind major structural damage.

No one was home at the time, police said, but a witness in another car pursued Field until both vehicles stopped near Farroll Avenue and Diana Place, where the witness detained Field until police arrived and took him into custody.

Santa Maria

Movie to mark women's suffrage anniversary

To mark Women's Equality Day on Aug. 26, the anniversary of the passage of the amendment giving women full voting rights, the League of Women Voters Santa Maria Valley has scheduled the screening of a movie about suffragists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns.

Set for 6 p.m. in Shepard Hall of the Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., "Iron Jawed Angels," a 2004 HBO movie, stars Hilary Swank, Frances O'Connor, Julia Ormond and Anjelica Huston.

For more information, call 268-2734 or visit

Santa Barbara County

Local drunken driving crackdown to start Aug. 21

Local law enforcement is gearing up for a crackdown on drunken driving that will start Aug 21.

Scheduled during the increased enforcement period that will last through Sept. 7 are six sobriety checkpoints, three DUI task forces and extra freeway patrols by California Highway Patrol officers in Santa Maria, Buellton and Santa Barbara, according to information on the event.

The crackdown is a function of "Avoid the 12," a campaign named for the 12 law enforcement agencies in Santa Barbara County that cooperate in the effort.

In the North County, checkpoints are set to be in Lompoc on Aug. 21, Aug. 28 and Sept. 4. Another one will be in Goleta on Aug. 29.

A task force, in which officers search for DUI suspects in patrols, is slated for Santa Ynez on Sept. 4.

Santa Maria

Meeting on Housing Element updates next week

A Santa Maria Community Development Department public meeting to introduce updates to the city's Housing Element is scheduled for next week.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 20 in City Council Chambers, 110 East Cook St., the public is invited to give comments to city staff on affordable housing issues in the city. One of seven required elements of the city's General Plan, the Housing Element is a written framework for meeting the city's housing goals.

State law requires periodic updates. The last one was in 2006

Copies of the current document are available at the Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., Community Development Department, 110 S. Pine Street, No. 101, and at

For more information, call Advance Planner Brian R. Smith at 925-0951 Ext. 244.

Written comments can be mailed to: City of Santa Maria Community Development Department, Attn: Brian R. Smith, 110 S. Pine St., Room 101, Santa Maria 93458.

- From staff reports