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KVTA Local News

OPD K-9 Who Appeared In Rose Parade Dies

KVTA News Friday January 19, 2018


(Photos courtesy Oxnard Police Department)

Oxnard police are mourning the sudden loss of one of their police service dogs who just recently was featured on a Rose Parade float.

K-9 Jax died this week from a large inoperable tumor near his heart and lungs.

The department says on Wednesday Jax was taken to the vet after showing symptoms of an illness during regularly scheduled training.

That's when the tumor was discovered.

He died shortly after that.

Jax was a 5-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois who began his service with the Oxnard Police Department in 2013. 

Jax's most recent public appearance was on the 2018 Rose Parade float for the Lucy Pet Foundation.

Arrests In Assault At Murder Victim Memorial

KVTA News Thursday January 18, 2018


Detectives in Thousand Oaks say they've arrested five people in connection with an assault that happened during an informal memorial for a Newbury Park murder victim.

The gathering for David Smith was held December 15th in the area where he was shot to death on November 30th, Avenida Del Platino and Calle Diamonte.

At some point during the memorial an argument broke out and two adults males and a juvenile male from Newbury Park who detectives say were not gang members were attacked by several people who were.

One victim was cut, one suffered a seriously injury to his mouth and one was badly beaten.

Detectives say in the weeks that followed they identified and arrested five people, four who they allege were involved in the assault and one who allegedly made statements to the victims intended to intimidate them and prevent them from cooperating with the authorities.

They identified the four arrested for what detectives allege was the gang-related attack as 21-year-old Joe Higareda of Simi Valley, 28-year-old Alexis Martinez of Thousand Oaks, 21-year-old Jessica Macias of Newbury Park and a 17-year-old male juvenile from Thousand Oaks whose name and picture were not released because of his age.

They say 20-year-old Fabian Higareda of Simi Valley was arrested on the witness intimidation charge.

Women Accused In Gym Locker Theft Case

KVTA News Thursday January 18, 2018


Updated--Detectives in Thousand Oaks say they've arrested three women in connection with the December 15, 2017 theft of a wallet and car keys from an unlocked locker at Golds Gym at the Janss Mall.

They say the 23-year-old victim had placed her property in the locker but when she finished her workout she returned to the locker to find it empty.

Detectives say the victim ran outside to see someone driving away in her 2010 Kia Forte.

The victim's stolen credit cards were used at a business and the security video caught the suspect in the act.

Ultimately detectives identified 31-year-old Ashley Crawford of Agoura Hills as a suspect and on January 9th they caught her allegedly shoplifting at the JC Penny's store at the Oaks Mall.

They say a search of her vehicle turned up stolen credit cards and a small amount of heroin.

Detectives say the next day they found the victim's vehicle at another residence in Agoura Hills and arrested 33-year-old Courtney Clements of Agoura Hills.

They say on January 16th they located and arrested a third suspect, 29-year-old Jerica Henning of Valencia.

Detectives say Henning was in possession of the one of the victim's ID cards. 

All three were booked into the Ventura County Jail and have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Ventura CHP Officer Charged In Off Duty Shooting

KVTA News Thursday January 18, 2018

The Ventura County District Attorney's Office says it has charged a CHP officer in connection with an off duty shooting in Ventura.

It happened just after midnight on December 5, 2017 in the Ventura Keys neighborhood.

The DA's Office alleges that 45-year-old Trevor Dalton was involved in a neighbor dispute, left and then returned and fired two shots, one of them striking the victim in the back.

At the time, Ventura police called the wound non-life threatening.

Dalton was arrested at the scene and the gun was recovered.

Prosecutors say they are charging Dalton with one felony count of assault with a firearm with the personal infliction of great bodily injury.

If convicted, the charge carries a maximum penalty of 17 years in state prison.

Dalton works out of the Ventura CHP Office.

The incident was investigated by Ventura PD and the DA's Office.

Fatal Crash Might Be Tied To Street Race

KVTA News Wednesday January 17, 2018

(Photo by Benjamin Paredes)

(Update---The CHP says they identified and located the driver of the BMW and he was interviewed.  He denied he was street racing.  The CHP says as of now he was not cited or arrested but their investigation is continuing.  The names of both drivers have not been released yet.)

Updated---The CHP says it appears that street racing might have led to the fatal crash near Oxnard Wednesday afternoon.

They say shortly after 2 PM a black 1991 Acura Integra was eastbound on Sturgis Road east of Del Norte Boulevard when for unknown reasons the 17-year-old male driver from Oxnard lost control, ran off the road and crashed into a concrete culvert.

The driver, the only person in the vehicle, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.

The CHP says witnesses told them the Acura appeared to be street racing a grey BMW sedan at the time of the crash.

They say the driver of the BMW kept going but returned to the scene a few minutes later then fled again when he saw the wreckage.

The crash scene was just outside the Oxnard city limits and the roadway was closed for several hours after the crash.

The CHP is still investigating the crash and is asking anyone with information to call them at (805) 662-2640.

Oxnard Clears Homeless Out Of Halaco

KVTA News Wednesday January 17, 2018

(Photo courtesy Oxnard Police Department)

Oxnard police say that all of the homeless people still living at the Halaco metal recycling facility were cleared out Wednesday morning.

They say the three dozen people still there left voluntarily and no one faced arrest for refusing to go.

However, police say they did make seven arrests because of outstanding warrants.

Police also had 17 vehicles towed.

Those were vehicles that were inoperable.

If a vehicle could be driven from the site by the homeless person, they were allowed to do that.

Police say Oxnard City Corps offered to place the personal belongings of the individuals into 90 day storage until they could find someplace to relocated them and several people took advantage of that option.

The intersection of Perkins Road and McWane Boulevard will be barricaded for up to 90 days to allow for abatement of the site and any access south of that intersection will be restricted with security guards there 24/7.

Oxnard decided a couple of months ago that the site had become a problem with as many as 150 homeless living there.

They said there was an increase of crime and vandalism in the area that was draining city resources and it was time to shut it down.

Deputies Look For Camarillo Outlet Robber

KVTA News Wednesday January 17, 2018


Deputies in Camarillo are looking for the suspect in a strong arm robbery at the Camarillo Outlets on Ventura Boulevard.

It happened back on January 10th at 4:52 PM.

Deputies say the suspect entered the store and stole several pairs of designer sunglasses worth more than $1,000.

They say when employees confronted the suspect as he tried to leave the store, he knocked one of the female employees to the ground, injuring her.

Deputies say the suspect then got into a waiting vehicle and was driven from the area.

He was desribed as a Hispanic male, late teens or 20's, with dark brown curly hair, an unshaven face, goatee and mustache.

They say he is about 5'2" tall and weighs about 130 pounds and was wearing a grey long sleeved button up shirt with dark pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call (805) 388-5151.

Deputies Look For Suspect In Saticoy Shooting

KVTA News Wednesday January 17, 2018

Deputies were looking for the suspect in a strange shooting in Saticoy Monday.

They say it happened shortly before 5 PM in the 11300 block of Violeta Street.

Deputies say the victim, a 34-year-old Saticoy man, was sitting in his vehicle when another vehicle pulled up nearby and the suspect got out and fired a single round from a shotgun at the windshield of the victim's vehicle.

They say the suspect then got back into his vehicle and fled westbound from the area and remains at large.

The victim in the first vehicle was not injured.

Deputies say they also checked a nearby house and found evidence that it was also hit by the gunfire, but again no one was injured.

No description of the suspect was given and the suspect vehicle was described only as a silver sedan.

Storm Damaged 33 Still Closed North Of Ojai Valley

KVTA News Tuesday January 16, 2018


(Photos courtesy Caltrans)

The January 9th storm damage to Highway 33 north of the Ojai Valley through the Los Padres National Forest was extensive.

That portion of the highway is closed from Fairview above Meiners Oaks to Lockwood Valley Road and will be for several more weeks.

Caltrans crews are working seven days a week removing 7 million pounds of dirt each day and repairing sections of the road that were washed out in the storm.

These photos from Caltrans show the damage done and the work underway to get the roadway reopened asap.

Ventura Man Arrested For Drug Dealing

KVTA News Tuesday January 16, 2018


The Ventura County Sheriff's Department has arrested a Ventura man they accuse of dealing drugs.

They say 47-year-old Karl Brooks was taken into custody during a traffic stop last week just before they executed a search warrant at his residence.

The California National Guard's Counter Drug Task Force assisted with the two month long investigation.

Detectives say that in Brooks residence they found a half pound of methamphetamine packaged for sale, narcotics paraphernalia and a large amount of currency, all considered evidence of drug sales.

Brooks pleaded not guilty to to all charges.

His bail was set at $50,000.

Construction Crew Finds Explosive In Thousand Oaks

KVTA News Tuesday January 16, 2018

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff)

Deputies in Thousand Oaks say construction crews working on a trench in Thousand Oaks uncovered an explosive used in construction,

They believe it was left there during construction that happened in 1973.

The discovery was made late Tuesday morning in the 1500 block of Adele Place.

Police and the Sheriff's Bomb Squad responded and stabilized and the made the material safe.

They say there is no danger and no evacuations necessary at this time and the neighborhood is open for normal activity.

However, the cul-de-sac is restricted to residents only.

Latest Estimate, 101 Closed At Least One More Week, One Of 4 Still Missing Found Safe

KVTA News Monday January 15, 2018

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire)

Updated--Caltrans is now saying the 101 Freeway through Montecito will remain closed for at least another week.

That would be Monday January 22, 2018.

That ESTIMATE released as crews continue the effort to clear tons of mud and debris from the roadway.

It remains closed northbound at the 150 in Carpinteria and southbound at Milpas Street in Santa Barbara.

The 192 remains closed indefinitely as do all surface streets in Montecito.

Meanwhile, one of the four missing people, has been found alive...

"The Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce that 53-year-old John “Jack” Keating has been located safely in Ventura with his dog “Tiny” and is no longer on our active missing persons list. Keating is a transient and turns out was in Carpinteria and not Montecito during the storm.

Sheriff’s detectives are following up on all missing person reports that have come in since the incident began. They have had more than one hundred reports to investigate. At this time, there are three active missing persons cases.

The list includes: 

John “Jack” Cantin - 17 years old 

Faviola Benitez Calderon - 28 years old 

Lydia Sutthithepa - 2 years old 

To report a missing person or report or receive any information regarding this incident please call the information line at 833-688-5551."

Individual Assistance For Thomas Fire Victims

KVTA News Monday January 15, 2018


With the Thomas Fire now 100 percent contained, there is news from FEMA regarding individual assistance to fire victims.

This is from the County of Ventura...

"Today the County and City of Ventura have been informed their appeal for individual assistance for victims of the Thomas Fire has been approved.

The federal disaster declaration, original declared January 2, 2018, has been amended, now making available such programs as Disaster Unemployment Insurance, Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households, Small Business Assistance, Legal Assistance and Community Housing Loans, among other federal assistance programs.

Residents and businesses of Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore and other cities within the County may also be eligible for these assistance programs.

In the coming days FEMA representatives will be in the County and City holding local information meetings, as well as opening a local FEMA assistance center to work directly with impacted individuals and businesses.

Information will be shared on those meetings and the assistance center as soon as it becomes available.

Residents can also apply online via disasterassistance.gov, by phone 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 or download the app at fema.gov/mobile-app for any of these programs."

Ventura Woman Arrested For Serious Injury, DUI, Hit And Run Crash

KVTA News Monday January 15, 2018

Ventura police say they arrested a woman for a serious injury, DUI, hit and run crash Sunday evening.

It happened shortly before 5:30 PM on Valentine Road in front of Tommy’s Hamburgers.

Police say the 55-year-old driver of one of the vehicles was trapped and was extricated by firefighters.

She underwent surgery at VCMC and was listed in critical condition.

A 56-year-old female passenger also went to the hospital with serious injuries.

Another passenger, a 61-year-old female, was treated and released at the scene.

Meanwhile, police allege the driver of the other vehicle, 38-year-old Tanisha Washington of Ventura, fled the scene and was tracked down at her home.

Witnesses told police she was driving recklessly at the time of the crash and had a small child in her vehicle.

Police say they determined Washington was allegedly driving under the influence and had a 3-year-old child in her vehicle.

Washington was booked into the Ventura County Jail for felony driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs causing injury, felony hit and run and child endangerment.

Montecito Disaster Death Toll Rises, 4 Still Missing, 101 Closed Indefinitely

KVTA News Sunday January 14, 2018

(Photos by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Update at noon Sunday 01-14-18

The number of casualties from the January 9, 2018 storm and subsequent mudslides/flooding that occurred has risen to 20. At approximately 3:45 p.m. on January 13, 2018, 30-year-old Pinit Sutthithepa was located deceased in the area of Hot Springs Road near Olive Mill Road during search and recovery efforts. A positive identification was made this morning and next of kin was notified. 

We ask that you hold Pinit’s family and friends close to your hearts as they are also suffering the loss of Pinit’s son, 6-year-old Peerawat Sutthithepa and his father-in-law, 79-year-old Richard Loring Taylor, who were both fatally injured and located deceased on January 9, 2018. Pinit’s two-year-old daughter, Lydia Sutthithepa is still missing. 

The 20 victims include: 

Jonathan Benitez - 10 years old 

Kailly Benitez - 3 years old 

Joseph Francis Bleckel - 87 years old 

Martin Cabrera-Munoz - 48 years old 

David Cantin - 49 years old 

Morgan Corey – 25 years old 

Sawyer Corey - 12 years old 

Peter Fleurat - 73 years old 

Josephine Gower - 69 years old 

John McManigal - 61 years old 

Alice Mitchell - 78 years old 

James Mitchell - 89 years old 

Caroline Montgomery - 22 years old 

Mark Montgomery - 54 years old 

Marilyn Ramos - 27 years old 

Rebecca Riskin - 61 years old 

Roy Rohter - 84 years old 

Pinit Sutthithepa – 30 years old 

Peerawat Sutthithepa - 6 years old  

Richard Loring Taylor - 79 years old 

 

62-year-old Delbert Weltzin, who had been on the missing list, was found alive.

And here is a list of the people still listed as missing...

John “Jack” Cantin - 17 years old

Faviola Benitez Calderon - 28 years old

Lydia Sutthithepa - 2 years old 

John “Jack” Keating - 53 years old

*A separate Montecito resident also named John Keating was seriously injured during this incident and is in the hospital. The John Keating listed above is a separate individual and is still on our active missing persons list.

Montecito's elected representatives are organizing a vigil in Santa Barbara on Sunday from 5-6pm at the Courthouse to give the community a chance to come together and mourn.

Meanwhile, the 101 remains closed indefinitely...

NORTHBOUND between the 150 in Carpinteria and Milpas Street in Santa Barbara, and,

SOUTHBOUND between Milpas Street in Santa Barbara and Padaro Lane in Summerland.

The 192 remains closed indefinitely through Montecito as are all other surface streets through Montecito.

You can get to Carpinteria or Summerland from Ventura County using the 101 to the 150 or the 150 through the Casitas Pass, but you cannot go beyond Carpinteria and Summerland by any road in that area.

As for how to get around the closure and travel from Ventura County to Santa Barbara here are four options:

1) Amtrak (the trains are moving through Montecito again. Oxnard to Santa Barbara is operating OK) https://www.amtrak.com/home.html

2) Island Packers/Condor Express (water taxis) http://condorexpress.com/ 

http://islandpackers.com/

3) The long way around, Highway 126 to Interstate Five and then up to either the 166 and west to Santa Maria and then south on the 101 to Santa Barbara...or...the 5 to the 46 and then west to Paso Robles and then south on the 101 to Santa Barbara. To go from Santa Barbara to Ventura County just do the reverse. By the way, the CHP is recommending the 46 over the 166 because it can handle more traffic.

4) By air, United Express has flights from LAX to Santa Barbara, there are no commercial of scheduled flights directly between Ventura County and Santa Barbara.

The search and rescue and clean up effort continues with an army of personnel and equipment from local, state and federal agencies.

Restoring basic services is still some time away and cleaning the thousands of tons, mud, water and debris will take even longer.

The total evacuation of the Montecito disaster zone started Thursday night and those evacuated were told it would be at least a week or two before some might be allowed back.

For many other people, they have nothing to come back to.

Hundreds of homes, businesses and other structures were damaged or destroyed.

For more information about the tragedy go to: countyofsb.org

Man Brandishing Sword In Simi Store Arrested

KVTA News Sunday January 14, 2018

Simi Valley police arrested a man for brandishing a sword in a store Saturday.

The incident happened around 6 PM at the Cigarette Store at 5105 Los Angeles Avenue in Simi Valley.

They say 30-year-old London Holiday of Los Angeles was taken into custody and booked into the Ventura County Jail for Misdemeanor Exhibition of a Deadly Weapon other than a Firearm, Felony Criminal Threats and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

His bail was set at $30,000.

According to jail and court records, Holiday had been released from the Ventura County Jail on January 2, 2018 after serving a sentence for Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

He was arrested for that crime on December 28, 2017 and pleaded guilty.

Holiday was sentenced on January 2, 2018 to six days in jail and immediately released when the judge deemed the sentence had been served by the time he had already been in jail plus credit for what's known as "good time-work time."

Sandbags For Thomas Fire Burn Area Residents

KVTA News Saturday January 13, 2018

(Photo courtesy County of Ventura)

Rain is NOT in the forecast until maybe Thursday night or Friday and right now the National Weather Service is putting it at a 30 percent chance.

But January and February are the wettest months in Ventura County.

So, here is some information from the County of Ventura regarding sandbags for residents in the Thomas Fire burn areas to give you the chance to be prepared without having to rush...

"The County of Ventura and the City of Ventura are working to ensure residents in the areas affected by the Thomas Fire have sandbags to help protect their property against water, mud and debris flows.

“It’s important that people pick up these bags now,” said County Public Works Director Jeff Pratt. “The time to establish protection for your home or property is before it starts raining. If you wait until your house is being inundated, it may be too late.”

The County and City are bringing in tens of thousands of pre-filled sandbags and distributing them out into the community for pick-up. There is no charge for the bags and no limit on the number of bags residents of the burn areas are allowed to take.

Residents can pick up bags at:

City of Ventura Locations – 

• San Jon Maintenance Yard - 336 San Jon Rd. Ventura CA 93003 (Public Parking Lot)

• Poinsettia Pavilion - 3451 Foothill Road (lower lot) – Bring a shovel

County of Ventura Locations – 

• Fire Station 21 - 1201 East Ojai Ave. Ojai CA 93025

• Casitas Springs Community Center Parking lot - 8415-8499 Edison Dr. Casitas Springs CA

• Upper Ojai at the Upper Ojai Market - west side next to the fence. 12679 Ojai, Santa Paula Rd Santa Paula CA

• La Conchita – Carpinteria St. and La Conchita – Open lot

• Fire Station 26 – 12391 W. Telegraph Rd., Santa Paula CA 93060 – Bring a shovel

“Two of the locations don’t have a supply of pre-filled bags yet,” said Pratt. “But they do have sand and empty bags, and so do some of the other locations. Residents should bring their own shovel, just in case”

The bags are available while supplies last. Depending on demand and the severity of the rainy season, more bags may be brought in at a later date, but residents shouldn’t wait."

Final Notice To Homeless At Halaco In Oxnard

KVTA News Saturday January 13, 2018

(Photos courtesy Oxnard Police Department)

Several public agencies and private groups spent Friday at the old Halaco metal recycling facility in Oxnard to let the remaining homeless people living there know they have to be out by next Wednesday (January 17th) or they will be forced out.

Oxnard officials had visited the site in October to start the process of clearing it out and they set a deadline of December 5th.

But the Thomas Fire delayed the opening of the winter warming shelter in Ventura and the deadline for clearing the Halaco site was extended, with the final extension now next Wednesday.

Police say they contacted four dozen people at the Halaco site Friday, with six saying they were willing to accept social services.

Over several years the Halaco site had grown into a significant illegal homeless camp but it was only recently the city decided they had to clear it out.

They say it had become a significant drain on police, fire and other city services and had reached a point where they had to act.

Officials have informed those people still living there of a number of social services and organization that can help.

Here is a list...

EMERGENCY HOUSING

If you are facing homelessness or are already homeless and need emergency housing:

Homelessness Prevention Program

Rapid Re-Housing Program

County of Ventura Human Services Agency

805-385-8585

www.vchsa.org/hprp

The Kingdom Center

(women and children only)

805-487-3400

www.tkcoxnard.org

Turning Point Foundation

(services for homeless with mental illness)

805-652-0000

www.turningpointfoundation.org

RAIN Project Transitional Living Center

805-389-3308

www.raincommunities.org

OTHER SERVICES FOR HOMELESS PERSONS

Community Action of Ventura County

Day-time One-Stop Center; mail drop, counseling, job resources, showers

621 Richmond Ave., Oxnard CA 93030

805-436-4000

www.ca-vc.org

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Housing and utility assistance, health care, employment resources

Assistance hotline: 1-888-552-7872

Oxnard Standoff Ends With Two Arrests

KVTA News Saturday January 13, 2018


Oxnard police arrested two people Friday night following a standoff at a residence.

They say around 7:30 PM the Special Enforcement Unit responded to the 100 block of Lupita Street to conduct a probation search and compliance check on 42-year-old Pablo Reynosa of Oxnard.

Police say Reynosa is currently on probation for burglary and a convicted felon who was indicted in "Operation Supernova" in 2011 that targeted drug traffickers associated with the Colonia Chiques criminal street gang.

They say as officers arrived at the location, the people inside barricaded themselves in a room.

Police say they also received information that Reynosa was also in possession of at least two guns and that he was in the company of 38-year-old Marie Salas of Oxnard who was wanted on a felony warrant.

For over two hours officers tried to make contact with Reynosa and Salas in order to get them to surrender.

Police say they finally did surrender and were taken into custody without further incident.

Officers say they searched Reynosa's room and found three handguns magazines, one of them loaded, and a stun gun.

Reynosa was arrested for being a felon in possession of ammunition and a stun gun and resisting arrest.

Salas was arrested on the outstanding felony warrant.

Montecito Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 18, 7 Missing, 101 Will NOT Reopen Monday

KVTA News Friday January 12, 2018

(Photo of 101 in Montecito is courtesy of Caltrans)

Updated--The death toll from the Montecito mudslide increased to 18 with the recovery of 87-year-old Joseph Francis Bleckel from his Romero Canyon home Friday morning.

Seven people remain missing.

Meanwhile as the search and rescue, clean-up and recovery effort continues, word from Caltrans that the closure on the 101 Freeway between the 150 in Carpinteria and Milpas Street in Santa Barbara will continue indefinitely.

Caltrans had estimated they might have it reopened by Monday, but no they say no way.

They say despite round the clock efforts to clear the several feet of mud, water and debris blocking the roadway, they still have a long way to go.

And even once that's done, the roadway has to undergo damage assessment and safety repairs.

Adding to the effort is that they are still doing search and rescue operations in that area.

The frontage road and the back way through Montecito, Highway 192, is also blocked with mud and debris and remains closed as are all the other surface streets in Montecito.

The only to get around the closure is to either use the long detour that involved Interstate Five, or Island Packers water taxi or other boats, by air, or by train since the tracks are open and Pacific Surfliner has resumed service.

Sentencing In Fatal Grad Night DUI Crash

KVTA News Friday January 12, 2018


A Ventura man was sentenced Friday to seven years and eight months in prison for a fatal DUI crash on grad night near Rio Mesa High School.

27-year-old Mario Adan Arjon had earlier pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving with a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or higher and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury to multiple victims.

It happened in the early morning hours of June 15, 2017 on westbound Central Avenue at Vineyard.

Two vehicles were westbound on Central and stopped at the traffic light at Vineyard when Arjon, traveling westbound on Central at a high rate of speed, plowed into the rear of the second vehicle driven by 18-year-old Fernando Buenrostro of Oxnard and pushed it into the first vehicle.

Buenarostro and his two passengers had just returned from the Rio Mesa High School sober grad night celebration at Disneyland. 

Buenrostro died three days later at the hospital, his two passengers also suffered injuries.

Suspects Arrested In Identity Theft Operation

KVTA News Friday January 12, 2018


Detectives in Moorpark have arrested two people in connection with what they described as a sophisticated identity theft operation that operated in Ventura County and Los Angeles County.

The investigation began December 10th during a shoplifting incident at a Moorpark department store but led to a major probe by the authorities in both counties.

Search warrants carried out at a residence in Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County revealed what detectives say was a technical and sophisticated identity theft operation.

During the searches detectives say they confiscated embossers, skimmers, computers and blank credit cards.

They arrested 29-year-old Laura Lyons of Agoura Hills and 31-year-old Ewao Butler of Los Angeles on identity theft charges.

Rocket Launch From Vandenberg

KVTA News Friday January 12, 2018


A Delta IV rocket was finally launched Friday afternoon from Vandenberg Air Force Base in western Santa Barbara County.

The launch, at 1 PM, had been delayed twice before because of wind and technical issues.

The payload is a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office. 

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Clayton Wear/Released)

Arrests Made In Robbery Of Pizza Delivery Man

KVTA News Friday January 12, 2018



The Ventura County Sheriff's Department has arrested three suspects in connection with the robbery of a pizza delivery man.

The robbery happened on the night of December 1, 2017 in Nyeland Acres.

The 19-year-old male victim from Camarillo worked for Domino's Pizza and was making a delivery when he was approached by three male suspects.

He told deputies the suspects assaulted him, took the pizza and then fled the area.

The victim followed them but stopped after two of the suspects threatened him with a knife and a handgun.

The suspects were last seen running on Almond Drive.

Sheriff's detectives investigated and identified, located and arrested three suspects on January 3, 2018.

They were identified by deputies as 21-year-old Jose Ramirez of Oxnard, 18-year-old Erique Chavarria of Nyeland Acres and a 15-year-old male from Camarillo.

Detectives say all three are members of an Oxnard criminal street gang.

Woman Robbed At Knifepoint In Ventura

KVTA News Friday January 12, 2018

Ventura police are looking for the man who robbed a woman at knifepoint.

They say it happened late Thursday night in the 700 block of Hill Road.

Police say the woman was standing in front of an apartment complex when she was confronted by a male suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandanna over his face.

The suspect was holding a knife and demanded the woman's purse and cell phone.

She complied and the suspect fled with the property.

She was not injured.

Mandatory Evacuations Ordered For All Of Montecito, Names Of 18 Fatal Victims Released

KVTA News Thursday January 11, 2018

(Photos courtesy Santa Barbara County Fire, Air Unit, Cal OES)

Note: To determine if you are in the Evac Order area, go to http://countyofsb.org/and  view the interactive map or call 833-688-5551 if you do not have access to the Internet 

Updated--Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Thursday they are making the entire community of Montecito a mandatory evacuation zone, they want everybody out starting at 6 PM Thursday.

This area is west of Sheffield Dr/East Valley Rd/Ladera Ln, east of Olive Mill/Hot Spring Rd, north of the ocean, and south of the U.S. Forest Service boundary. 

He says the mandatory evacuation will be for at least a week and maybe longer to give crews, including the Army Corps of Engineers, search and rescue personnel and utility crews the ability to do their work.

A number of Montecito residents whose homes were not damaged or destroyed by the mudslide were either told to shelter in place, decided they wanted to stay, or could not leave.

Brown said that has to change now.

He says the Sheriff's Department will provide assistance to anyone who needs it to evacuate and people should contact the Sheriff's Department or County of Santa Barbara if they do.

He says 6 PM is a start time not a deadline and they will give people a reasonable amount of time to leave.

While train traffic is now moving through that area, the 101, 192 and ALL surface streets in Montecito remain closed and will be until at least next week.

In addition to the 17 confirmed fatalities Brown is now saying they've reduced the missing list again from 43 to 5.

Many of those reported missing turned up at local motels or hotels and had not checked in with worried family or friends.

The cause of death for 17 of the 18 decedents will be listed as “Multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides due to recent wildfire”.

The cause of death is pending for 87-year-old Joseph Bleckel who was found at 11:30 AM Friday morning in his home.

The names and ages of the other decedents are as follows:

Jonathan Benitez - 10 years old

Kailly Benitez - 3 years old

Martin Cabrera-Munoz - 48 years old

David Cantin - 49 years old

Sawyer Corey - 12 years old

Peter Fleurat - 73 years old

Josephine Gower - 69 years old

John McManigal - 61 years old

Alice Mitchell - 78 years old

James Mitchell - 89 years old

Mark Montgomery - 54 years old

Caroline Montgomery - 22 years old

Marilyn Ramos - 27 years old

Rebecca Riskin - 61 years old

Roy Rohter - 84 years old

Peerawat Sutthithepn - 6 years old

Richard Taylor - 67 years old

Scores of structures have been destroyed, hundreds of others damaged. 

Infrastructure, including fire hydrants, utility poles, and roads remain severely damaged or destroyed.

13 Flu-Related Deaths In Ventura County

KVTA News Thursday January 11, 2018

Public Health officials say as of today (Thursday) there have been 13 flu related deaths in Ventura County.

11 have been people over 65 years of age, the two under 65 are not children.

They say this year's outbreak is more deadly than the 2009-10 swine flu outbreak in Ventura County.

They say the outbreak has now lasted longer than normal years.

Public Health officials say even though this year's vaccine has been less effective than normal, getting vaccinated could still reduce your chances of getting the flu or reduce the symptoms if you do.

To stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses, you should:

• Stay home while sick and limit contact with others

• Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or disposable tissue

• Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Some people are at high risk for serious flu-related complications:

• Pregnant women

• Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old

• People 65 years of age and older

• People who have certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and immune

suppression

For more information about influenza, visit CDPH’s website

(https://www.cdph.ca.gov/…/DCDC/…/Immunization/Influenza.aspx).

Police Investigate Arson Fires In Ventura

KVTA News January 11, 2018

(Photo courtesy Ventura City Fire)

Ventura police and fire are investigating several arson fires that broke out early Thursday morning in the downtown and midtown areas of the city.

This is from Ventura City Fire...

"Just before 5am this morning in the midtown of Ventura, a series of fires were started in vehicles and trash areas, spanning several blocks. The first fire was reported in an alley in the 1900 block of East Main St. consuming a trash receptacle, a motorcycle, and a vehicle. The fire posed an exposure problem to the adjacent business and filled it with smoke, which was occupied by the building owner at the time. Ventura Fire Truck Company 5 ventilated the structure and confirmed the fire did not spread into the building.

Concurrently, a second fire was reported in the alley of 1400 Poli St. that had a vehicle fully engulfed in fire, which was complicated by a ruptured fuel line. The vehicle was next to a structure, but firefighters were able to keep the blaze to the point of origin. The fire burned for more than an hour, creating a large plume of smoke through dawn, prompting many additional calls to 911.

Two additional fires were reported in the 1900 block of Main St. A vehicle in the 20 Block of Live Oak Ave was partially engulfed in flames in the driveway of the home. A second vehicle in the drive way of a house off Main St. was also fully involved in fire. Firefighters quickly attacked both fires and contained them to the vehicles; there was no spread to either building.

Ventura Police are actively investigating the suspected arsons. A Ventura Fire Investigator is working on exact fire cause determination. If you have any information in regard to the suspected arsons, please contact Ventura Police."

Seven Displaced By East Ventura Duplex Fire

KVTA News Thursday January 11, 2018

(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

Update--Seven people were displaced by a duplex fire in east Ventura Thursday afternoon.

One person was treated at the scene for minor burns.

The fire was reported shortly after 2:30 PM in the 8800 block of Northbank Drive east of Montgomery.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found the single story duplex well involved in flames.

Crews had the fire knocked down by 3 PM.

Six adults and one child were displaced by the fire and the Red Cross was being called in to help.

Cause of the fire was under investigation.

The fire caused the closure of Northbank east of Montgomery.

Death Toll Rises To 17 In Montecito Mudflow Disaster, 101 To Remain Closed Until Monday

KVTA News Wednesday January 10, 2018

(Photos by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire shows destroyed house and the remains of a Hummer on the beach in Montecito)

Update at 9 AM Thursday from Pacific Surfliner...Tracks are now open btwn #Oxnard & #SantaBarbara. @PacSurfliners service recovery/restoration are currently underway. Please see our latest tweet for specific service info.

***FYI---Traveling through Ventura County you can use the 101 to the 150 in Carpinteria.  You can use the 33 through the Ojai Valley to the 150 and then to the 192 in Carpinteria.  BUT YOU CANNOT GO ANY FARTHER THEN CARPINTERIA.  In addition to the 101,, the 192 and ALL surface streets in Montecito are closed, unusable, or both and will be until at least next week.  Think of Montecito as a giant wall that extends from the mountains to the sea***

Updated--The death toll in Tuesday morning's mudflow through Montecito is now 17 with 8 people still reported missing.

Caltrans says their latest estimate is that the 101 will remain closed in both directions in Santa Barbara County because of the Montecito mudflow disaster until at least Monday.

The northbound closure is at the 150 in Carpinteria and southbound at Milpas Street in Santa Barbara.

They say it will be at least until Monday before they can clear the mud and debris covering the freeway in Montecito and make sure the roadway is safe to use.

The 192 in Montecito also remains closed as are all the other surface streets in Montecito.

The 150 is open from Lake Casitas to the 192 in Carpinteria.

Meanwhile, the latest estimate is that 100 homes were destroyed and 300 damaged by the mud and debris that overwhelmed creeks and streams in the area during Tuesday morning's storm.

Scores have been rescued.

The search continues for the 17 missing.

To get all the way from Ventura to Santa Barbara you will still need to use I-5 and the 166.

Island Packers will continue to run their water taxi service that does include a fee.

Simi Valley Man Accused Of Child Molestation Accused Of Trying To Have Victims/Witnesses Killed

KVTA News Wednesday January 10, 2018


The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says they've arrested a man for trying to hire a "hitman" to kill several potential witnesses in a child molestation and child pornography case against him.

Detectives allege that 58-year-old David Beech of Simi Valley while in custody and awaiting trial on the molestation and pornography case "went through a series of calculated steps and overt acts" to hire someone to kill the four females.

Turns out the "hitman" was an undercover police officer.

Detectives say the intended victims are all females and range in age from 24 to 62.

They say among the targets of the murder plot were victims of the previous sexual assaults.

Beech was arrested Monday morning while in custody on the pending case and is now facing arraignement Wednesday on the new charges.

His bail has been raised to $3.4 million combined for the two cases.

Arrest In Thousand Oaks Kidnap/Rape

KVTA News Wednesday January 10, 2018


Deputies in Thousand Oaks have arrested a man they say posed as a police officer to kidnap and rape a woman last week.

They say the 18-year-old Thousand Oaks woman met the suspect on social media and agreed to meet with him in the area of Lynn and Janss roads on January 5th.

Deputies were told by the victim that the suspect identified himself as a police officer then drove her to a parking lot where he sexually assaulted her.

He then drove her back to her vehicle and released her.

She contacted Thousand Oaks Police and detectives were able to identify 21-year-old Andy Guadalupe Menjivar of Canoga Park as the suspect and he was arrested at an apartment complex in Los Angeles.

Manjivar has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail with bail set at $500,000.

He could face 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

Camarillo Man Accused Of Two Bank Robberies

KVTA News Wednesday January 10, 2018


A Camarillo man stands accused of two bank robberies.

Deputies say they arrested 31-year-old Erik Santoyo on December 28, 2017 for the August 31, 2017 robbery at the Citibank in the 400 block of Arneill Road in Camarillo.

In that holdup the suspect gave the teller a demand note, displayed a handgun and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Santoyo was arrested for the Camarillo bank robbery while already in jail after being arrested for the robbery of the Ventura County Credit Union in Moorpark on December 15, 2017.

Detectives say they served search warrants at several locations during their investigation that uncovered evidence tying him the holdups.

Santoyo has pleaded not guilty to the charges in both holdups and remains in jail with bail set at $50,000.

Storm Brings Death And Destruction To Montecito, Spares Ventura County

KVTA News Tuesday January 9, 2018


 

(Photos by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire in Montecito)

Remember for official information: vcemergency.com

UPDATE AT 12:20 PM TUESDAY (1/9)...ALL EVACUATION NOTICES IN VENTURA COUNTY LIFTED

Updated...The major storm that moved through the region early Tuesday morning caused significant damage and death to Montecito but seems to have spared most other areas, including Ventura County.

Montecito experienced flash flooding, debris and mud flows and downed trees.

Scores of homes were damaged or destoryed and at least 15 deaths reported.

There were rescues of people trapped in their homes and vehicles and also reports of missing people.

Mud flows across the 101 in Montecito and flooding across the 101 north of La Conchita, shut down the 101 in both directions between Ventura and Santa Barbara an it is still closed.

The 33 north of the Ojai Valley is closed and so is the 150 in Carpinteria.

 Rainfall in Ventura County was at the bottom end of the forecast estimates and there were no major damage.

The mountains above the Ojai Valley received between 4-6 inches, but most other areas of Ventura County recorded 1-3 inches.

There were no serious problems reported in Ventura County and the Red Cross Shelter at Ventura College was shut down by 8 AM due to lack of need.

Starting Wednesday there should be dry weather through the weekend.

Update at 5 AM Tuesday (1/9)...Update at 4:55 AM Tuesday (1/9)...101 completely shut down, both directions between the 126 in Ventura and Santa Barbara.  All traffic being diverted to Interstate Five.  Flash Flood Warning for Thomas Burn area through 9:30 AM.  Major flooding problems in Santa Barbara County.  Storm arriving in Ventura County, slowly, but it's getting here.  This is from the NWS "1.48 inches of rainfall in the past hour at a rain gage in Matilija Canyon. 1.32 inches of rainfall in the past hour at a rain gage in Carpinteria." 

Update at 4:37 AM Tuesday (1/9)...CHP is closing NB 101 at 126 in Ventura due to flooding across all lanes at the Ventura-SB county line.

Update at 4:24 AM Tuesday (1/9)...the storm has finally arrived and is causing significient problems in Santa Barbara County, especially in Montecito.  The 101 in shut down in that area due to debris flows.  Also flooding is now being reported across all lanes of the 101 at the Ventura-Santa Barbara county line north of La Conchita and CHP is determining whether and possibly where to shut down the 101 in that area.

Update at 3:55 AM Tuesday (1/9)from NWS..."A Flash Flood warning has been issued for the entire Thomas Burn Area through 9:30 AM PST. Be extremely careful in and around the burn areas. Heed orders from local and county officials."

Update at 3 AM Tuesday (1/9)...From the National Weather Service..."A Flash flood Warning was issued for the Whittier and Thomas Burn areas in Santa Barbara County through 5:30 AM. This also includes a portion of the Thomas Burn area in Ventura County."

After a lull for most of Monday night, the major storm forecast for Ventura County is due to roll in sometime around 4 AM Tuesday with the heaviest rain expected in Ventura County from 4 AM to 7 AM.

The 3:30 AM Sulphur Mountain Radar shows the front entering western Santa Barbara County and moving slowly towards Ventura County (see radar image above).


   heavy rain falling across the warned area. Flash flooding is
   expected to begin shortly if not already occuring. Flash flooding,
   mud, and debris flows are likely below the Solimar and Camarillo
   Springs burn areas. 
 
 * Some locations that will experience flooding include...
   Solimar Burn Area...
   Springs Burn Area...
   Oxnard...
   Ventura...
   Camarillo...
   Fillmore...
   Ojai...
   Santa Paula...
   La Conchita...
   and Highway 33 between Wheeler Springs and Rose Valley Road.
 
 PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
 
 Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood
 deaths occur in vehicles.
 
 Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small
 creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as
 well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.
 
 Please report flooding to your local law enforcement agency when you
 can do so safely.
 
 A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring.
 If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately.
 Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate
 precautions to protect life and property.
 
 A Flash Flood Warning for a recent burn area means that flooding and
 debris flows are imminent or occurring. Residents living in or
 immediately below the burn area should take immediate precautions 
 to protect life and property. Quickly move away from the burn area 
 only if it is safe to do so, otherwise shelter in place and move 
 to a second storyor the highest location in your home to stay out 
 of the path of fast-moving water and debris flows.