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K-9 units locate suspect in Goleta armed robbery, burglary

A Goleta man is in jail following an early morning robbery and burglary in Goleta on Friday.

According to a press release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, at around 1:45 a.m. deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery at the 7-Eleven on the 7400 block of Hollister Avenue.

The victim of the robbery told authorities that a man wearing a ski mask and wielding a handgun entered the store and demanded money and alcohol. He then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Sheriff’s deputies, UCSB Police and California Highway Patrol responded and began searching the area. Two sheriff’s K-9 units successfully began tracking the path of the suspect. A helicopter also contributed to the search using infrared FLIR technology.

As authorities looked for the suspect, dispatch received a call of a suspect attempting to steal items from a home on Coronado Avenue. Homeowners convinced the intruder not to take any items.

Sheriff’s deputies on scene secured a perimeter and began looking for the burglary suspect.

While searching the area, deputies were approached by a man in his underwear claiming to be a concerned citizen. While the man spoke with the deputies, K-9 units from the earlier robbery incident at 7-Eleven brought handlers directly to him.

Deputies observed that the man had tattoos that fit the description of the robbery suspect. At that point, authorities identified the man as the suspect in both the robbery and the burglary reports. He was taken into custody without incident.

The man has been identified as Tyler Alward, 24, of Goleta.

Following his arrest, authorities searched Alward’s residence on the 7500 block of Palos Verdes and discovered evidence linking him to the robbery. Sheriff’s detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division executed a search warrant and seized additional items from the residence.

Alward was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He could face charges for second degree robbery and first degree burglary.

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