Isla Vista Beat Reporter
Isla Vista Foot Patrol is currently investigating three armed robberies and one residential burglary, all of which occurred last week between Sunday, May 3, and Tuesday, May 5. Three of the incidents appear to be related, as all occurred at apartments within the same complex on the 6500 block of Seville Road.
The first robbery took place at 4:30 AM on Sunday, May 3, when three suspects wearing dark hoodies and masks reportedly entered one of the apartments and stole a resident’s cell phone and laptop. Two were armed with handguns, according to a statement from the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office, though no indication is made that shots were fired. All three suspects fled shortly after the theft, and authorities were unable to locate them after searching the surrounding area.
Police responded to a call from the neighboring apartment the following day, Monday, May 4, at 2 AM. The female caller reported four or five acquaintances, two armed with knives, who stole money from her in a drug-related dispute. When officials arrived on the scene, they detained five suspects caught fleeing the area, four of whom were found to be complicit in the crime.
Charges of robbery and burglary have been levied against 21-year-old Brenden Lewis and 25-year-old Christianna Horton of Ventura, as well as 19-year-old Tevis Johnston and 20-year-old Levi Roman of Buellton. Lewis and Johnston were also charged for transportation of cocaine and alprazolam, more commonly known by brand names such as Xanax.
“Obviously we know that Isla Vista attracts people from out of the area, and there are some people who come here with the intention to commit crimes,” said Kelly Hoover, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.
The third Seville burglary occurred on Tuesday, May 5, at approximately 12:15 PM, resulting in the arrest of 27-year-old Savannah Arias on a charge of residential burglary. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Arias had been the alleged victim of the second robbery at the complex.
“There’s a probability that they’re related [based on] the fact that they’re all in different units within the apartment complex, [and] the fact that the individual who reported that she was the victim of an armed robbery at her residence was arrested also for residential burglary,” Hoover said. “So we believe there’s a connection there.”
Officials are investigating a seemingly unrelated incident that occurred later on May 4, around 5:30 PM, when a male SBCC student was robbed by four or five black male adults allegedly armed with a handgun. They fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and have not yet been apprehended.
At this point, authorities have not indicated a connection between last week’s disturbances and the shooting on Monday, May 11. IVFP has cautioned IV residents to keep their doors and windows locked and to stay vigilant in case of additional threats of this nature.