After apprehending two weekend burglars, Isla Vista Foot Patrol officers recovered over 40 stolen items belonging to local residents.
Within a 30-minute span early Saturday morning, thieves entered the unlocked doors of five houses on the 6600 and 6700 blocks of Sabado Tarde Road, making off with five laptops, a computer tower, a snowboard, a digital camera and other items – in some cases while residents were asleep in their homes. When police captured the two suspects a short time later, one admitted his involvement in over 50 Isla Vista burglaries in the past three weeks.
IVFP Sgt. Brian Olmstead said officers responding to the first burglary report at 2:01 a.m. received reports of additional burglaries in the immediate area, including a report of a woman arguing with a man who fit one of the burglar’s descriptions on the 6700 block of Sabado Tarde Rd.
Police arrived at the scene and detained David Burstein, 18, of Calabasas, CA. During a pat-down search, officers discovered two stolen cell phones in his pocket, which two burglary victims immediately identified as their own.
Simultaneously, Olmstead said police detained Scott Duncan, a 20-year-old resident of West Hills, CA, who they saw getting into a parked truck on the mid-6700 block of Sabado Tarde Rd. Officers noticed he matched the description of the second suspect and that a laptop, a computer tower and other property were in his truck.
Olmstead said a search of the area uncovered several other laptops and a digital camera stashed in the front yards and bushes of several houses on the 6700 block of Sabado Tarde Rd., where thieves had hid them to pick them up later.
Witnesses who saw two men enter residences and leave them leave carrying laptops identified Burstein and Duncan as the suspects during in an infield lineup. Both men were arrested on charges of residential burglary and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail. Burstein is being held on $100,000 bail, and Duncan is being held on $90,000.
“A lot of people, even criminals, are lazy. It’s a lot easier to get into a house that’s unlocked,” Olmstead said. “If people would just lock their houses it would prevent a lot of those burglaries right there.”
During the course of their investigation, Olmstead said police obtained confessions from Burstein and Duncan regarding their involvement in the five I.V. burglaries. In addition, Burstein told police that he had, at his Calabasas house, property he stole during as many as 50 other burglaries.
IVFP officers and a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department detective searched Burstein’s Calabasas home, finding stolen laptops, CD players, cellular phones, watches and other items, including a stolen paintball gun.
Olmstead said stolen property could be claimed at the IVFP station on Pardall Road starting this afternoon. He also said burglary victims who may not have filed police reports should do so as soon as possible in the event the police find their property.