Local authorities went a-sweepin’ in Isla Vista for recently stolen property.
Twenty-five authorities made up of I.V. Foot Patrol officers, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s detectives, UC Police Dept. detectives and probation officers went to 16 different locations in I.V. on Jan. 28 on a probation sweep. IVFP Lt. Tom McKinny said that because of the recent string of thefts and burglaries in I.V., they decided to conduct a surprise sweep of I.V. addresses where convicted burglars and thieves reside.
McKinny said the purpose of conducting these searches is to recover any stolen property. While this particular sweep did not yield any reported stolen items, the officers did find three men violating their probation.
“We were specifically going to the homes of people arrested for burglary or theft. Probation tells us who they are and where they live,” McKinny said. “It would really help if people kept track of the serial number on things like their laptops and stereo equipment because without a serial number, we can’t track stolen items.”
While searching the home of one convict, the officers stumbled upon 22-year-old Marcus Veal, who had a warrant out for his arrest for violating his probation. UCPD Sgt. Mark Vellekamp said Veal was arrested in the summer of 2000 after he and 23-year-old Derek Harvey opened up fraudulent accounts at a number of different businesses using other people’s identification.
Vellekamp said the two men had a friend at the financial aid office who would obtain identification from students’ personal information and pass it to the two men. They would then make false identifications and use them to open accounts at businesses such as jewelry and electronics stores and charge large amounts of money to the accounts.
After an eight-month investigation, UCPD was able to discover the identity of the two men. They requested the district attorney’s office charge each man with multiple counts of burglary, fraudulent use of a credit card and conspiring.
McKinny said he was surprised to find Veal at one of the residences they searched. Veal was arrested on a no-bail warrant for violation of probation.
The sweep also led to the arrest of a man on probation who had psilocybe mushrooms in his residence, and a citation was issued to another former criminal for possession of drug paraphernalia. McKinny said his office conducts these sweeps sporadically, but he hopes to conduct them more often.