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21 people detained for series of “window-smash” burglaries in Lompoc

(UPDATED 6:00 p.m.)

Armored vehicles and SWAT teams were posted up outside a Lompoc apartment complex Wednesday as a rash of summer burglaries came to a head.

The crime spree lead police to two units on the city’s Eastside where they detained more than 20 people

When Animal Care Hospital’s window was smashed in early August, vets were hoping it was just an accident.

“Maybe kids skateboarding or something,” suggested Dr. Tammy Mendez, a Veterinarian at Animal Care Hospital off North H Street.

Mendez was shaken up and out more than $1,000 in damage.

Police say it was no accident, all part of a summer crime spree.

“Since June of this year, the Lompoc Police Department has reported 15 window-smash burglaries with commercial businesses in our jurisdiction,” said Captain Kevin Martin, Lompoc Police Department.

The Shack was hit too, employees declined an on-camera interview but tell us their security cameras picked up people in neoprene masks that made off with close to 40 pairs of Levi’s.

“Investigators have been working those cases and were able to establish some leads to some specific people and those people are associated with the residence where we served a search warrant at this morning,” said Capt. Martin.

With the assistance of the Santa Maria Police Department’s SWAT Team, the warrants were served without incident.

“Due to the location and the staffing of our SWAT Team, they came over and helped us with the service of the search warrant,” said Martin.

A heavy police presence could be seen at 514 N G Street as early as 7:00 a.m.

“Over the course of the search warrant we detained over 21 people and currently are looking at arrests for a number of violations,” said Martin.

That means more than 20 people were living in these two small apartments, investigators say there were mattresses in the garage.

Police say the alleged thieves were mainly targeting businesses for their cash registers.

“It kind of makes me sad. I love our community. I love Lompoc, I think just disappointed that it wasn’t actually an accident. I think we were holding on to that but also glad in the same sense that they got them,” said Mendez.

Officials spent hours searching the residence in question for evidence.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on the arrests made as information is made available.

(Initial Story)

21 people were detained Wednesday morning after the Lompoc Police Department served what’s considered a high-risk warrant at an apartment complex on the 500 block of North G Street.

Police confirmed to our newsroom that the warrant was served around 6 a.m. in connection with a series of smash-and-grab burglaries dating back to June.

Police said there were 15 burglaries involving commercial businesses. Investigators had been working on establishing leads and ultimately detained 21 people Wednesday.

Investigators served the warrant at two units in the apartment complex on G Street.

The Santa Maria SWAT team was called in to assist police as they served the warrant.

Investigators were still searching the apartment for evidence as of 11 a.m. Wednesday.

KEYT 2019

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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