Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 48
Deputies still looking for one suspect in recent farm robbery spree
BY SUN STAFF
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies are asking the public to help them find a suspect wanted in connection with a series of burglaries at several farms in unincorporated Santa Maria.
Deputies with the department’s rural crime unit recently arrested two people for allegedly breaking into at least four local farms and stealing about $70,000 worth of equipment, vehicles, and tools.
On Jan. 29, deputies arrested 30-year-old Travis Grant of Santa Maria on suspicion of burglary, grand theft, felony vandalism, and conspiracy. They also arrested 33-year-old Ernest Johnson of Santa Maria on suspicion of possession of stolen property. A warrant has been issued for a third suspect, 32-year-old Shaun Axe of Santa Maria, who is wanted in connection with burglary, grand theft, felony vandalism, and theft.
According to a press release from the department, the investigation began on Christmas Eve last year, when deputies responded to reports of a burglary at Agro-Jal Farms. The next day, Babe Farms, located a few miles away, reported a burglary as well.
Authorities said the suspects returned to Babe Farms the following day, Dec. 26, 2013, and were in the process of robbing the property when an employee came to work. The employee told deputies the suspects took off in two trucks, and investigators later found a third partially dismantled truck. All three were reported as stolen by area farms.
Deputies recovered the trucks, along with stolen equipment from Babe Farms, Encino Valley Farms, Fresh Bounty Farms, and Agro-Jal.
Community members with information about these crimes, or the whereabouts of Axe, are asked to call the rural crime unit at 934-6512 or to leave an anonymous tip at 681-4171.