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Deputies searching for armed men following Isla Vista home-invasion robbery

sunrise apartments iv robbery
Kacey Drescher/KEYT
Deputies are searching for multiple suspects in an armed robbery in Goleta

ISLA VISTA, Calif. - A brazen home invasion in broad daylight, has students saying they need to be better about locking their doors.

Two people were robbed Monday morning at gunpoint inside their Isla Vista apartment. The masked men are now on the run but not before officials say they made off with thousands of dollars in tech gear.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputies and UCSB Police responded to a report of an armed robbery in Isla Vista just before 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Public Information Officer Raquel Zick says the group took off with two laptops, a cell phone, a wallet, and cannabis items.

Everyone’s like that’s your building,” said Akshay Heda, a Sunrise Apartment resident.

It wasn’t until Akshay Heda got a text message from USCB Police that he realized he had slept through a home-invasion robbery at his own Sabado Tarde Road apartment complex. 

“I was like in shock, I went outside and was like I’m gonna lock my door right now,” said Heda. 

One person inside the home suffered a minor injury that did not require treatment. A second person was uninjured. Authorities believe the home was intentionally targeted.

“I’m very concerned just because of the fact I was sitting in class, you don’t expect it,” said Marlin Salmon, a UCSB 2nd Year who lives just down the street from Sunrise. 

While Heda was stunned that this happened in his Isla Vista neighborhood, other UCSB students were shaken up but not surprised.

“I’ve heard before that there have been break-ins but never an armed robbery,” said Salmeron. 

Emma Distefano-Karoff lives across the hall from the crime scene, she says now she’s going to lock her bedroom window more.

“It happens a lot in Isla Vista which is a really unfortunate thing. People really need to be on it, lock your doors, windows, people that live alone need to be really safe,” said Distefano-Karoff 

Two of the three men were armed with handguns, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

The two armed men were described as white, one wearing all black and a ski mask, and the other wearing a camouflage jacket with no mask. The third suspect being sought is a black man wearing dark clothes and also wearing a ski mask; he was unarmed.

Following the robbery, the men took off on foot northbound.

The Sheriff's Office says the suspects are associated with a newer black BMW 3 Series. The description of the vehicle was limited, but the sheriff's office confirmed that the license plate contained the number 6.

An alert sent out by UC Santa Barbara advised people in the area to shelter in place. People outside were told to find a safe location and those inside were advised to lock doors and move away from windows.

A second alert from UCSB was sent out, which clarified that a shelter in place was lifted and a lockdown at campus was not ordered.

There will be a heavy law enforcement presence in the area throughout the day. People should only contact emergency dispatch if they have information about the robbery.

Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip Line at 805-681-4171.

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