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Owner of “Mirror Bus” seen roaming streets of Isla Vista arrested on stalking charges

Zachary Coughlin
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
Zachary Coughlin, pictured here at 43 years old

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The owner of the so-called "Mirror Van" which has been spotted throughout the Isla Vista community recently has been arrested and is now facing stalking charges.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's detectives arrested Zachary Coughlin, 43, on a felony warrant for stalking.

Coughlin was brought into the newsroom's attention after calls of harassment activity in the Isla Vista area.

Sheriff's detectives began investigating various reports regarding Coughlin on Thursday.

Sheriff's say Coughlin was living in a converted bus called the Mirror Bus in the Isla Vista area.

The owner of this converted bus has been arrested and awaits charges for stalking

Coughlin caught the attention of locals with his references on social media to the tragic mass murder that occurred in Isla Vista in 2014.

Detectives say Coughlin's comments on social media also indicate that he shared ideology with "involuntary celibate" or the incel community.

Coughlin's Instagram account included many expletive-filled rants, screenshots of private conversations and images of women in bathing suits.

The Sheriff's Special Investigations Bureau interviewed witnesses, did a behavioral threat assessment of Coughlin and combed through content from several social media accounts.

In their investigation, detectives established that Coughlin was stalking a woman in the Isla Vista area.

Coughlin was booked at the Santa Barbara County jail.

Coughlin's bail is set at $200,000 and his vehicle was towed.

The Isla Vista Community Services District, aware of Coughlin's activities in the community and online, forwarded the community's concerns to law enforcement.

The President of the District gave the following statement on Coughlin's arrest:

“I recognize that this situation has created a lot of fear and anxiety in the community. It is important that Isla Vista residents know that their voices will be heard when they come forward with public safety concerns.”

Board President Spencer Brandt

Services Director Ethan Bertrand applauded the Isla Vista community members for identifying a dangerous situation, reporting it to law enforcement and making their neighbors aware of their concerns.

"This type of community collaboration is necessary for keeping Isla Vista safe,” Bertrand said.

The investigation is currently ongoing.

The Isla Vista Community District Services says there are resources available for community members who may be triggered by the situation. Those resources include UCSB's Campus Advocacy, Resources, and Education (CARE), and Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) which operates a Survivor Resource Center in Isla Vista.

The Sheriff's Office encourages anyone with additional information to contact the Bureau at InfoSIB@sbsheriff.org.

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