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Police Respond to Auto Thefts, Assaults



Isla Vista Foot Patrol responded to several crimes over the weekend, including a string of burglaries and multiple incidences of assault.

In addition to responding to several minor crimes, law enforcement officials investigated two incidences of physical assault and made arrests in connection to burglaries occurring throughout Isla Vista. IVFP Sherriff’s Lieutenant Robert Plastino said deputies encountered an individual stealing from a vehicle in an alleyway on Picasso Road on Thursday night.

The suspect was identified as Sergio Torres, a resident from Ventura, who told officers he was visiting a friend. Lieutenant Plastino reported that Torres was found to be in possession of a mask, gloves, a flashlight and wire cutters.

Shortly after officers requested additional sheriff units from Goleta, a man named Dennis Rizzo — who is a friend of Torres’s — was located and apprehended on the 700 block of Camino Del Sur. According to Plastino, Rizzo was found in possession of stolen property and attempted to hide some of his burglary tools upon being spotted by police. After examining the recovered stolen items, deputies determined that the two had targeted multiple areas with smash-and-grab auto burglary that night — including locations at 6512 Segovia, El Greco and Embarcadero Del Mar, as well as locations in Montecito.

Plastino said the pair was right in the midst of their theft schemes when they were spotted by law enforcement.

“[They] were in the process of looking for more cars to break into when they got caught,” Plastino said. “Both were on probation out of Ventura County for theft charge and are facing several charges in SB County,”

The following night, on Friday, IVFP officers responded to another auto-theft incident.

“An unknown suspect took the victim’s vehicle registration, insurance card, and FM transmitter from her unsecured vehicle that was parked in front of 6522 El Greco Road,” Plastino said.Sh

Although one fingerprint was found and submitted to the County Forensics Department, no description of the suspect is available.

Later that evening, in the early hours of Saturday morning, at around 1 a.m., deputies responded to a victim who reported being assaulted after trying to break up a fight on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde.

“A student was walking westbound on 6500 block Sabado Tarde and saw four men fighting. He attempted to break up the fight and while he was doing so, an unknown person punched him from behind. He lost consciousness and broke his jaw,” Plastino said.

The victim was immediately transported to the emergency room for treatment and surgery, according to Plastino, but he was unable to provide a description of the suspect.

Plastino commented that, although the victim had positive intentions, witnesses should always first call 911 for help.

That same evening, deputies responded to another assault incident on the 6700 block of Del Playa, Plastino said.

“Deputies contacted the victim, who sustained a head injury as a result of the fight,” Plastino said. “Separately, deputies arrested the suspect in the nearby area. The suspect was identified by the victim as one of the people that had kicked him in the head.”

According to Plastino, the suspect was booked for battery with serious bodily injury.

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