Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

Southern Poverty Law Center

The KCBX Central Coast Curious project provides you the opportunity to ask the KCBX News team questions about the Central Coast. We posted a Central Coast Curious voting round this summer that included some listener questions related to nationwide issues. The winning question from the voting round was: “Are there any active, known and 'out' members of white nationalist or violent racist organizations in San Luis Obispo County?”

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office recently retrieved skimmer devices from bank ATMs in Santa Maria and Orcutt. Officers say they discovered the devices before whomever installed them was able to return.

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said Thursday afternoon that there's been a big break in a nearly 30-year-old cold-case murder investigation. 

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

Santa Barbara County wants to continue its crackdown on people who are illegally using the dry river bed near Lompoc for off-road activities.

Flickr member Glenn Beltz

Central Coast officials are investigating three train track fatalities that occurred this weekend.

The Sheriff's Offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties say three individuals were killed during separate collisions involving Amtrak trains and persons on the tracks. 

UPDATE: Missing Lake Tahoe college student found safe

Oct 12, 2015
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 5:56 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday evening that 23-year-old Dianne Thacher was found safe and alive in her Sierra Nevada College dorm room.

"Thacher allegedly met a male acquaintance when her vehicle received a flat tire," said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kelly Hoover in a written statement. "Her cell phone battery died shortly afterwards. Thacher reportedly stayed with the male acquaintance for several days. When she left to return home, he saw the media coverage indicating that she was a missing person and contacted the Sheriff’s Office."

Clean-up efforts were underway Friday as crews worked to contain hundred of gallons of red diesel fuel in Buellton.

Santa Barbara County Fire says nine 55 gallon drums were abandoned on an unregistered trailer at the corner of Kendale Road and Odense Street. One of those drums had leaked its entire contents into a nearby storm drain. The other eight drums are said to be "somewhat compromised."

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says the diesel may have been stolen from an agricultural or industrial user.

The Isla Vista community was on alert Monday night as Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies and UCSB Police searched for a person thought to be connected to a shooting earlier in the evening.

The incident happened around 7:30 p.m., less than a block from the UCSB campus. Deputies say they were called to a residence on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde after a report of shots fired during a domestic dispute.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office wants the public's help in locating several people connected to a stabbing that happened in Old Town Goleta Friday evening.

Deputies say a man in his 20s was stabbed following a confrontation at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Mandarin Avenue. That man survived and is recovering from his injuries.

The Sheriff's Office is hoping somebody who saw the crime—or may have some information about it—will contact the anonymous tip line at (805) 681-4171.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

The Santa Barbara County sheriff's department says it was a quiet Halloween weekend in Isla Vista with no major incidents, and few arrests and citations issued in comparison to past years.

More than 300 officers and deputies were initially deployed to control crowds, but that number was reduced over the weekend as the expected party scene failed to develop.

Law enforcement credits a local campaign discouraging outsiders and says the heavy rain also likely had an effect.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

Marijuana Eradication Season is now over in Santa Barbara County according to the Sheriff's Office, and law enforcement says 47,000 plants were destroyed this year as part of the program.

Sheriff's spokesperson Kelly Hoover says the plants had an estimated street value of $131 million. This year's sweep however was down slightly from last year primarily because of the drought, Hoover said.

Most of the growing operations were found on Los Padres National Forest land by Santa Barbara County aircraft. In all, 18 individual illegal gardens were discovered.

UPDATE: October 8, 2014 at 2:05 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office released the identity of the Carpinteria resident whose body was found in the Carpinteria Salt Marsh on Saturday morning.

The decedent is 63-year-old Michael George Ornelas. 

"Following a criminal and a coroner’s investigation, the Sheriff’s Office has determined that Ornelas died from an apparent suicide," Spokesperson Kelly Hoover said in a message to the media.

Original Story:

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

The United States Secret Service is investigating a sophisticated counterfeit money operation in Santa Barbara County that was busted up this week by the sheriff's department.

Six businesses in Santa Maria and Solvang were victimized earlier this week by what sheriff's deputies describe as a counterfeiting crew.

Four people were arrested and are under investigation for passing counterfeit $100 bills as well as drug possession and felony conspiracy.

Google Maps Street View

Santa Barbara County investigators are working to figure out who killed a person whose body was found Tuesday morning near the entrance to Guadalupe Beach.

"The victim was determined to be deceased and the death is considered to be a homicide," a report sent to media outlets by the sheriff's office Tuesday afternoon stated.

The department said that a group of field workers found the body "of a heavy-set Hispanic person, on the side of the road, face down in the dirt" just before 7 a.m.

That person was identified as 37-year-old Javier Alcantar Limon of Santa Maria.

Stock photo: Flickr member Tex Texin

UPDATE: August 13, 2014 at 5:21 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County man accused of killing his parents and two young boys Monday night made his first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon, but did not enter a plea.

A continuance was granted in the case against 45-year-old Nicolas Holzer at the hearing.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced the charges against Holzer Wednesday morning, saying he faces four murder counts and one count of felony animal cruelty. 

Body found at Cachuma Lake following ten day search

Jul 21, 2014
Twitter feed @VictoriaSanchez - KEYT Reporter/Anchor Victoria Sanchez

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department confirmed Monday evening the recovery of 22-year-old Isaiah Sanchez's body at Cachuma Lake. It was found about a hundred yards from where he was last seen going underwater on July 11.

A group of citizens on a rented pontoon boat spotted the body around noon, Monday and called 9-1-1, according to the sheriff's office. 

The body was transported by boat to the shore where a positive identification of Sanchez was made.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

Boating at Cachuma Lake was closed Saturday while the Sheriff’s Dive Team searched for a missing 22-year-old man who was last seen going underwater Friday night, just before 8:00 p.m.

The search was suspended Saturday afternoon because of poor underwater viability, but Santa Barbara County park rangers will continue to do surface patrols of the area.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department said in a media release that divers reached a depth of 80 feet under zero visibility conditions.