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Suspected church burglar arrested in Goleta

A man suspected of burglarizing multiple churches in Goleta was arrested Sunday morning after authorities located him following a botched burglary.

On Sunday morning, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a burglary at Unitarian Universalist Live Oak Church at 820 North Fairview Ave. in Goleta.

An employee of the church arrived to prepare for Sunday service when they discovered a man inside the church. The man fled the church after being discovered.

The employee was able to provide a detailed physical description of the suspects as deputies searched the area. The suspect was located a few blocks away from the church and was taken into custody.

The man has been identified as Joseph Rose, formerly of Boston, Massachusetts.

Rose was carrying stolen items from the church and had cuts and scrapes to his hands and arms that were consistent with broken glass. A shattered window was discovered earlier at the church.

Deputies said that Rose had additional evidence with him suggesting that he had burglarized the nearby Coastline Christian Academy at 5950 Cathedral Oaks Road.

Coastline Christian Academy is associated with the South Coast Church and shares the same campus. Deputies searched the campus and discovered forced entry at that school and additional evidence implicating Rose in that burglary.

Investigators also received additional information tying Rose to a recent burglary at Goleta Valley Church at 595 North Fairview Ave.

In that burglary, a suspect broke a window to gain entry to the church. The suspect was interrupted by a church employee and fled the scene and was not located.

Investigator are trying to determine Rose’s connection to the burglary at Goleta Valley Church.

Rose was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail and could face two charges for burglary.

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