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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on December 27th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 43 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 43

DA's Office files charges against Lompoc man for burglary during Thomas Fire

By SPENCER COLE

A Lompoc man is facing a felony burglary charge after the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office filed a complaint in superior court alleging he broke into a Montecito home in the path of the Thomas Fire. 

Adam J. Smith, 32, was scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 21 for residential felony (first degree) burglary at 1000 block of Channel Drive in Montecito. It was not clear by the Sun's press time if Smith had pleaded guilty or not guilty.

The home in question was in the mandatory evacuation zone on Dec. 19, when sheriff's deputies from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, along with officers from the Santa Maria Police Department, arrested Smith during mutual aid patrols. 

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that deputies were dispatched to a reported burglary in progress around 8:30 p.m., after the property's onsite manager received an alarm notification and reviewed surveillance video. The Sheriff's Office stated that the manager saw an unknown man walking around the property.

Law enforcement arrived and established a perimeter, with the property manager relaying Smith's location to officers and deputies. Smith was arrested shortly thereafter.

The DA's Office says in its complaint that Smith is not eligible to serve his sentence in county jail due to prior felony offenses that include two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon or knife, along with one count of false impersonation. 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron told the Sun that Smith could get anywhere from probation to two to six years for the burglary charge. She said he could also be facing consecutive time based on probation violations. 

The Sheriff's Office reported on Dec. 20 that Smith remained in custody without bail. 

Barron advised the public to make sure to secure their homes, vehicles, and personal property as they normally would in the event of a major disaster like the Thomas Fire. 

"Certainly this was an extraordinary circumstance, and that was why there were enhanced law enforcement patrols both inside and outside the fire area, but concentrating on homes in the mandatory evacuation zone," she said. "Unfortunately, in a situation like this, there are people that are going to try to take advantage of it."

An interim court date is scheduled for Dec. 28, and a preliminary hearing is planned for Jan. 3, 2018. 




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