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Deputies arrest suspected car burglar in Fillmore

James Melton

VENTURA, Calif. - A Ventura man was arrested for a series of crimes related to a vehicle burglary and fraudulent use of credit cards, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.
Last month, the victim parked her vehicle near the intersection of Seventh Street and Sycamore Road in the unincorporated area of Fillmore, according to the sheriff's office. She went for a jog and returned about 40 minutes later. 

When she returned to the car, she found one of the windows of the vehicle was shattered and that several valuables were taken such as electronic equipment and credit cards. 

As deputies investigated the crime, the victim received notice from her financial institution that a credit card had been used at a gas station in Santa Paula. 
Detectives later identified the suspect as 55-year-old James Melton.  On May 7 , investigators located Melton in the 6000 block of Webster Street in Ventura. 

A search warrant was obtained for his residence, vehicle and an offsite storage locker.  During the execution of the warrant, several items were recovered that included items taken from the victim’s car. Melton was in possession of multiple tools that are consistent with committing vehicle burglaries, such as window punches and bolt cutters.

Additional evidence recovered suggests there may be additional victims.  
Melton was arrested and booked at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility for burglary, fraudulent use of access card, possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Melton was released shortly after he was booked as mandated by the California Judicial Council’s zero bail schedule.  Melton has a court date on July 8, 2020. 

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to be aware not to leave valuables in vehicles parked on a public thoroughfare.  If possible, it is wise to leave costly articles at home or out of view within vehicles

Ventura County
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Bryce Hanamoto

Bryce Hanamoto is a producer and digital journalist for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Bryce, click here.

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