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Witness's tip leads to arrest of break-in suspect

Santa Barbara News-Press 2 August 2005

Hildy Medina

NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER

A tip from a good Samaritan on Monday led to the arrest of a Ventura man suspected of breaking into a car near a popular trail head in Montecito, authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Anthony Dominic Villareal, 35, on suspicion of burglary and possession of stolen property. His passenger, David James Dupont, 23, was cited for possession of marijuana paraphernalia and released.

Shortly before 1 p.m., a witness called 911 and reported seeing a man get out of a white Ford Bronco, walk up to a car parked near the Hot Springs trail head on East Mountain Road, smash the car's window with a rock and reach inside, said Sgt. Erik Raney, a Sheriff's Department spokesman.

The witness followed the vehicle and read the license plate to a dispatcher.

Not long after, a deputy spotted the Bronco heading south on Highway 101 near Santa Claus Lane. The suspect was pulled over on the 101 near Bates Road and arrested at gunpoint.

Inside the vehicle, deputies found a large rock, numerous portable compact disc players and three credit cards that were reported stolen on Monday, said Sgt. Raney.