Home security during the Holiday season in Santa Barbara

Santa Theft ChargesHome security during the Holiday season in Santa Barbara is an issue that should be taken seriously.  Thieves know that Christmas is a very popular occasion for gifts.  Oftentimes, these presents are valuable merchandise that can be sold illegally by the unscrupulous characters.  In an effort to help you prevent this from happening, Absolutely Affordable Bail Bonds offers some tips to make your home more secure:

Santa Stick Up

  1. Check access areas around your property.  Santa Barbara is known for it’s beautiful Although trees and bushes provide added beauty to your home, they are also great hiding spots for nefarious characters.  Trees offer a natural ladder to gain access to either a 2nd floor or rooftop.
  2. Do you own a pet?  Doggy doors are another access point that many people don’t think about.  Although it may be too small for a human to enter, one can use tools to exploit this hole.
  3. Are you on Facebook or Twitter?  If so, be aware of what you say about your status.  Letting others know that you’ll be attending a party or going away on vacation is a no-no.  This tells burglars that no one will likely be home for a period of time.  In the modern age of social media, criminals have became very savvy.  If you plan on leaving the Santa Barbara area, only tell those who you trust.
  4. Be careful shopping online.  It seems everyone buys from Amazon, eBay or other retailers.  The issue is that you could expose yourself to identity theft.  Phishing is a popular method where you are sent an e-mail and the sender asks for personal information through a link.  Double check this link before clicking.  This isn’t just an issue for Santa Barbara residents, so let your friends and family know as well.
  5. One of the easiest home security methods is to make sure your windows and doors are locked.  This may seem obvious, but during this hectic time of year, people tend to be forgetful.  Statistics show that 40% of burglaries are the result of an unlocked door or open window.  One tip is to create a checklist of your doors and windows.  As you secure each one, you can mark them off.
  6. Bright lights keeps burglars at bay.  Shadows are a thieves best friend.  Motion detector lighting is excellent for illumination and saves electricity.  Timers are another option as well.  Just be sure to alternate times if possible.
  7. Some residents of Santa Barbara love to show off their Christmas trees by keeping their curtains open for all to see.  This is like a flashing advertisement to burglars who may be in the area.  It’s best to keep your curtains closed.  Home security is more important than bragging rights.
  8. The Holidays are a time for getting to know others.  Next door neighbors are great at helping with security.  They can keep on eye on things while you’re away.  In return, you can do the same for them.  Nothing like getting to know your fellow Santa Barbara neighbor.
  9. Most people tend to get newspapers and magazines digitally nowadays.  However, if you’re still into getting physical media in the mail or on your doorstep, then pause your subscriptions and hold deliveries.  Your local Santa Barbara area post office can assist you with this process.  Alternatively, you can ask your neighbor if they can get your mail, packages, and/or newspapers while away.

Santa Mob BossThe Holiday season in Santa Barbara is a wondrous time of year.  It’s also a time to be vigilant with home security.  While officers and deputies from the police and sheriff’s departments will be on high alert, it starts with you first and foremost.

Santa in JailIf you do know someone who has been arrested for these types of charges, remember that people are innocent until proven guilty.  It’s always a good idea to deal with a local Santa Barbara bail bonds agency.  Happy Holidays to you and your families.

What does bail bonds have to do with Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving and bail bonds? It may seem odd to consider it upon first glance.  However, if you really think about it, there could be much to be thankful for during the long holiday weekend.  There may be situation in which a bail bond is necessary.  Sometimes things happen that you don’t necessarily anticipate.

Thanksgiving turkey in jail

Don’t be this turkey!

Thanksgiving weekend is a long break for the Santa Barbara County Superior Court system.  As such, getting arrested on the Tuesday or Wednesday before the actual holiday will result in an extended stay in county jail.  A person might actually be in custody for up to five days without seeing a judge.  For many families, this would be devastating.

In addition, Thanksgiving weekend is a time of heightened alert for law enforcement personnel.  The California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara Police and County Sheriff’s officials will be very wary of criminal activity.  Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance are just the tip of the iceberg.

Black Friday means plenty of shoppers running from store to store.  Many people do not take the time to properly secure their merchandise, thereby affording opportunities for thieves to take advantage.  Stolen goods is a problem during this peak shopping period.

Santa Barbara County Jail will be especially busy, so being in custody will not be a pleasant experience.  Not that being incarcerated is a vacation, but with overcrowding things can get extremely stressful.  Processing times for bail bonds may be prolonged due to this situation.

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather and eat great food.  If a friend or family members gets arrested, that would surely dampen the mood.  The great thing about a bail bond is that the person will be given an opportunity to spend quality time free from custody.  That individual would surely know the meaning of giving thanks indeed.

Absolutely Affordable Bail Bonds will be open everyday throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.  So, if you’re in the Santa Barbara area, they are ready and willing to help in your time of need.  And, as always, they are happy to offer free bail advice with no obligation whatsoever.  Remember that Thanksgiving is a time for family, not jail.

Expect heavy law enforcement in Isla Vista during Halloween 2015

If you plan to party hard for Halloween in Isla Vista, be sure that you do so safely.  Visitors from all over California and other areas will increase the weekend population dramatically in the local area.  Authorities from several agencies will work jointly to ensure that the law will be upheld.  This includes the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, University of California Police Department, as well as the California Highway Patrol.

Expect lots of law enforcement during Halloween

Expect lots of law enforcement during Halloween

Kelly Hoover, a spokesperson from the Sheriff’s office, has indicated that “we’re prepared for a large turnout” due to the fact that Halloween falls on a Saturday in 2015.  Interestingly, there will actually be a lower number of law enforcement assigned to the area.  She states, “We are seeing a culture change in Isla Vista with the mentality of not inviting out-of-towners, and out-of-towners realizing it’s not the party place it used to be.”

Many local bail bonds agencies in Santa Barbara will be available to assist for those who do get arrested.  However, according to Hoover, there has been a decline in the number of arrests and citations.

From 6:00 pm until 7:00 am on Friday and Saturday, there will be special festival ordinance in effect for the surrounding community.  This means no amplified music and vehicles will be prohibited from entering Del Playa Drive.  Furthermore, barricades will be erected around Isla Vista to prevent drivers from entering certain streets beginning October 30 at 4:00 pm.  People are permitted to leave, however.

California Highway Patrol officers will be on the lookout for people driving under the influence.  If arrested, most of the time intoxicated drivers are detained until sober and then released with a citation.  However, if someone is involved in an accident or is a repeat offender, then that individual will need a bail bond.

In addition to UCSB Police officers and Sheriff’s deputies, the Santa Barbara Police Department will be standing by in the event things get out of hand.  The Santa Barbara County Jail is also going to increase staff to deal with the higher number of arrests during the weekend as well.

If you plan to attend Halloween in Isla Vista, it would be a good idea to remember that bail bonds in Santa Barbara is always an option.  Most companies offer free advice. For further information about the bail bonds process, you can look at this video:  How Bail Works.

Finding bail bonds in Santa Barbara is a treat during Halloween

Halloween in Isla Vista

Halloween in Isla Vista

What does Santa Barbara bail bonds have to do with Halloween?  Well, if you’re one of the many part goers who will be out and about in the downtown area or Isla Vista, then this it might be a good idea to keep a local agent in mind.  Lots of mischief takes place during this period.  And, with Halloween taking place on a Saturday, things are sure to be lively indeed.

Both the Santa Barbara Police and Sheriff’s Departments will be on high alert.  There are a large number of people who tend to drink alcohol to excess.  This is especially true in the downtown clubs and all over Isla Vista.  Students from the University of California Santa Barbara and City College will be everywhere enjoying the festivities.  There tends to be a higher number of arrests, hence the potential need for bail bonds.

Most of the time, people get a warning or are given a citation for being intoxicated.  However, sometimes situations occurs where suspects are detained for various criminal behavior.  Depending on the nature of the crime and how serious it turns out, bail bonds is one option to consider.

The Santa Barbara County Jail is located at 4436 Calle Real.  It is located approximately half way between Goleta and downtown Santa Barbara.  Most arrestees will be transported to this facility for processing.  It is also the place where bail bonds are posted for the entire county of Santa Barbara.

If you get arrested, then it’s a good idea to call a local agency where they can offer free advice about your particular situation.  Have a safe and happy Halloween.

Police Arrest Phillip Cummings for Pulling Gun on Dog

This is the weapon taken from Phillip Cummings after he pulled it on a dog (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)

Suspect had Loaded 9-mm Handgun

by Jae Brattain | posted 02.19.2014

Phillip Edmond Cummings

Phillip Edmond Cummings was out for a stroll with his canine companion in his neighborhood on Tuesday, February 19th.  While on his outing, he came across another dog that was not on a leash or secured.  Fearing that the dog was a threat, he proceeded to get a 9-mm handgun from his home.

The dog was in a driveway which is shared by several apartments.  The canine actually belonged to a nearby neighbor.  After getting his pistol, Cummings pointed the gun at the dog and ordered it to move towards a secure area.  He yelled repeatedly at the animal, apparently thinking it could understand human commands.  The dog eventually did move back and Cummings returned back to his residence.

The incident took place near the corner of De La Vina Street and West Figueroa.  Other neighbors in a nearby apartment complex reported the incident to the Santa Barbara Police Department.  They saw the 41-year old man brandishing the weapon and yelling at the canine.

When officers arrived at the scene, they went to Cummings home.  After knocking on the door, the suspect answered with the gun still tucked in his waistline.  The weapon was fully loaded and as a result, he was arrested.  Cummings did not resist arrest and went with the officers without incident.

He was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail and booked into custody.  His bail bond is set at $35,000 for possession of a firearm in public.  If he does not post bond, his first court date will be Thursday, February 21st, at Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Ubaldo De La Cruz-Gonzales and Carlos Rojas-Villafana Accused of Rape

Victim Forcibly Assaulted at Home of Suspects

by Jae Brattain | posted 01.28.2014

A woman reported she had been a victim of rape to the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center on October 24, 2013.  A representative from the organization accompanied the victim to the Santa Barbara Police Department the next day to file charges.

Detectives began an investigation gathering evidence of the crime.  Over a three month period, they were able to conduct personal interviews, gather medical information about the victim through forensics analysis, and conducting surveillance to identify the perpetrators.

Ubaldo De La Cruz-Gonzalez

The victim indicated that she had went with a friend to the home of the assailants located near the corner of North Milpas Street and East Yanonali Street.  They went to “party” and consume alcohol around 10:00 pm on the evening of October 23rd.  After a short time, the friend left the victim alone with Ubaldo De La Cruz-Gonzales and Carlos Rojas-Villafana.

Approximately 40-minutes after the women arrived, the victim tried to leave the house.  However, the two men blocked her path.  They then began forcing her to have sex multiple times.  It was not until the morning that they released the woman.  She told them she had to report to work.  The next day she went to the Rape Crisis Center.

Carlos Rojas-Villafana

Police contacted the two men at their place of work on the East Side of Santa Barbara.  Shortly afterwards, they were taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail.

The first man, De La Cruz-Gonzales, was booked for rape, oral copulation, and digital penetration.  Each crime was committed through physical force.  Rojas-Villafana is being accused of felony assault with intent to commit rape, sexual battery, and also digital penetration by force.  The bail bond amount for both men has been set at $100,000 each.

Police Nab James Begg in Santa Barbara Narcotics Bust

Suspect in Custody After Two Month Investigation by Detectives

by Jae Brattain | posted 01.20.2014

James Robert Begg

James Robert Begg was arrested by the Santa Barbara Police Department after detectives obtained a search warrant for suspected drug sales.  He was under surveillance for a two month period beginning in November 2013.  According to detectives from the Narcotics and Vice Division, he has been accused of selling heroin, one of the most addictive drugs on the street.

However, Begg countered that he was not actually selling heroin.  His contention was that he gave it freely to those suffering.  Heroin is known to be highly addictive and approximately 23-percent of people actually become physically dependent on it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Roughly 4.2 million have admitted using the drug at least once.  This equates to approximately 1.6-percent of the population in the United States.

Detectives observed Begg at his home near the corner of Gillespie Street and West Pedergosa Street on Santa Barbara’s westside.  During the two month period, they witnessed the suspect selling narcotics during their investigation. A search warrant was granted to detectives on January 10, 2014.  On Wednesday, January 15th, the warrant was executed to arrest the subject and search his residence.

Begg was taken into custody after he rode away on a bicycle in the morning.  Police officers stopped him a few blocks away and placed him into handcuffs.  They then went back to his home and conducted a thorough search of the premises.  Detectives discovered approximately $400 worth of heroin, nearly $500 in cash, as well as a variety of paraphernalia to use narcotics.  The list included syringes to inject heroin, a weigh scale, and packaging normally associated with drug distribution.

The 50-year old suspect was taken to Santa Barbara County Jail.  His bail bond has been set at $30,000 for felony narcotics sales, as well as felony possession for sales and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession.

Santa Barbara Police Bust Robert Banks for Narcotics Sales

Suspect Sold Heroin from Los Angeles Area to Local Dealers

by Jae Brattain | posted 01.15.2014

Robert Keith Banks

On January 8, 2014, officer from the Santa Barbara Police Department placed Robert Keith Banks under arrest for narcotics sales.  The suspect had 9.75 ounces of heroin in possession at the time.  Officers also discovered a collapsible police baton, which is considered unlawful under Penal Code 16590 (m) in the State of California.  He also had an outstanding arrest warrant of $20,000 for a probation violation.

Investigators believe that Banks is a major player in the illicit heroin trade around Santa Barbara.  The suspect is based out of Inglewood, a city in southwestern Los Angeles County.  He had been transporting large amounts of narcotics to local dealers in Santa Barbara.  Detectives were able to establish contact and subsequently located him in the Carpinteria area.  The arrest was made at the McDonald’s parking lot on Casitas Pass Road, near the 101 freeway.

McDonald’s, 1115 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria

Banks had been suspected of illegal narcotics sales and investigated by the police for the past three months.  Detectives started the process in October 2013.  The arrest was a cumulative effort that resulted in the 46-year old man being taken into custody.  According to police, the approximate value of the heroin in his possession at the time of arrest was $9,300 on the streets.

After his detainment, police transported Banks to Santa Barbara County Jail.  Besides the $20,000 warrant for violating his probation, he was also booked for the sale and transportation of narcotics, as well as unlawful weapon possession.  The bail bond for the new charges was set at $30,000.

Ronal Beltran Taken Back Into Custody for Arson and Weapon Charges

Police Officers stand over Ronald Beltran near Ortega Park after his arrest for arson and weapons charges (Urban Hikers photo)

Already Charged with Attempted Murder, but Released from Jail

by Jae Brattain | posted 01.13.14

Ronald Anthony Beltran

Santa Barbara Police arrested Ronald Anthony Beltran after he set a vehicle on fire near the corner of East Gutierrez and North Quarantina Street.  Firefighters from the City Fire Department were called about 2:30 pm Sunday afternoon.  Upon arrival, they saw a minivan ablaze and quickly extinguished the flames.

Shortly thereafter, family members of the 39-year old Beltran had contacted authorities to let them know his intentions of burning the minivan.  He also verbally indicated that he wanted to commit “Suicide-by-Cop,” which is when a person wants to die, but do not want to kill themselves.  In other words, a suicidal individual tries to provoke a lethal response from an armed officer or deputy through threatening behavior.

At approximately 2:40 pm, officers found Beltran near Ortega park and promptly chased after him.  During the chase, Beltran stopped in his tracks and made verbal threats that he possessed a weapon.  This gave the pursuers momentary pause, but they continued onward and eventually used a Taser gun to bring him down into submission.  Officers placed Beltran into handcuffs and proceeded to search his body.  During their frisk, police found a knife.

He was taken to Santa Barbara County Jail and is being held without bail bond again.  Beltran was released from custody after an incident in which he stabbed a relative last week.  That case is still active and he faced charged of attempted-murder, stealing a truck, and resisting arrest.  No information has been provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department about why he had been released when previously he had no bail.  However, according to police, Beltran is expected to have no bail in this new case.  If not released, he is scheduled to go to Santa Barbara Superior Court on Tuesday, January 14.

Salvador Munoz of Buelton Caught with Child Pornography

Thousands of Lewd Photos of Kids Discovered on iPhone and Computer

By Jae Brattain | Posted 01.08.2014

Salvador Gallegos Munoz

On December 19, 2013, Salvador Gallegos Munoz went to a Sprint Store in Santa Barbara to exchange his iPhone 4S to a newer iPhone 5 model.  The store technician took the older phone and hooked it up with the new one.  He began transferring the data between devices, when he noticed images of pre-teen boys performing lewd acts.  The employee contacted his corporate office security division about the situation, in which they instructed him to call the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Officer arrived on scene and confiscated the iPhone 4S for evidence.  After receiving a search warrant to go through the device, detectives discovered three photos of children engaged in sexual conduct.  One image showed two boys, who appear to be 10 to 12-year old in age, performing lascivious acts with each other.  Shortly afterwards, the detectives were able to get a $20,000 warrant issued for the arrest of Munoz.  In addition, another search warrant was obtained from a judge to search his home near Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buelton.

400 Block of Central Avenue near Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buelton

Execution of the warrants took place at approximately 7:00 am on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.  Munoz was immediately taken into custody by officers and his computer was searched thoroughly.  Detectives discovered thousands of images and videos on his hard drive.  By his own admission, Munoz indicated that he had been accumulating child pornography for at least eight years.  He also exchanged images and videos with other users over the Internet during that time period.  During the interrogation, Munoz denied being involved in any physical sexual acts or abuse.

Detectives are investigating the situation further.  Munoz was transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail where his bail bond has been set in the amount of $20,000.