by Cindy Summers
Police reports are provided to us by the Ventura Police Department and are not the opinions of the Ventura Breeze. All suspects mentioned are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On September 13, at approximately 9:15am, Ventura PD patrol officers responded to a report of a burglary at Nerces Fine Jewelry located in the Firehouse Plaza on E Main St.
Employees who had arrived for work opened the business and discovered that a safe in the backroom area of the store had been broken into.
Ventura Street Crimes Unit detectives and Crime Scene Investigators also responded to assist.
It was determined that sometime during the night or early morning hours unknown suspects had forced their way into the business through the roof. Once inside they disabled the surveillance system and then forced open the safe. The suspects then fled the business with an undetermined amount of jewelry.
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone who may have observed any suspicious activity, persons, or vehicles in the area of Nerces Fine Jewelry or has any information related to this crime is urged to call the Ventura Police Department Street Crimes Unit at 339-4452, or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. If your information leads to an arrest, you could receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.
Felony Evading, Stolen Vehicle Arrest
On September 13, at approximately 11:45am, a Ventura PD patrol officer observed a suspicious vehicle with no visible license plates in the area of Mills Rd and Main St.
As the officer attempted to conduct an investigative stop on this vehicle it sped away through a residential area east of Mills Rd. The officer then initiated a pursuit in the 4200 block of Telegraph Rd after this vehicle ran a stop sign and accelerated at a high rate of speed eastbound. The vehicle pursuit continued to Victoria Ave where the suspect turned south and entered the westbound 126 freeway.
The pursuit continued onto the northbound 101 freeway as the suspect vehicle reached speeds in excess of 90mph. The pursuit continued into Santa Barbara County and was taken over by the California Highway Patrol.
Approximately 1 hour later the suspect vehicle returned to the Ventura area traveling southbound on the 101freeway with the Highway Patrol still in pursuit. The suspect vehicle was now driving on its front rims and was having a difficult time maintaining control.
As the suspect vehicle passed the Vineyard off-ramp it lost control and drove off the side of the freeway and came to a stop at which time the suspect driver, identified as 35 year old Ventura resident Jason Fenstermacher, was taken into custody.
The accident ignited a small brush fire on the side of the freeway that engulfed the suspect vehicle. It was later determined that this vehicle had been reported stolen a week ago out of Santa Barbara county.
Fenstermacher was transported to VCMC for treatment of minor injuries he sustained in the accident and was then booked into the Ventura County Main Jail and the charges of felony evading and driving a stolen vehicle.
Violent Crime Incident
On September 15, at approximately 6:00am, the Ventura Police Command Center received multiple 9-1-1 calls regarding a person out of control in the 200 block of E. Main Street in the downtown area. Ventura Police Patrol Officers responded to the area and learned the following.
The suspect, 35 year old Forrest Brantley, committed a burglary by breaking into the gift shop at the Ventura Mission. He stole two crucifixes from the gift shop and then left. Brantley approached one person in the parking lot of the Ventura Mission and demanded that victim’s phone. When the victim refused to give Brantley the phone, Brantley hit that victim with one of the crucifixes. Brantley then began walking down Main Street and did the same thing to two more victims, striking them with the crucifix. At one point, Brantley approached a 75 year old man who was sitting in his vehicle. Brantley broke the window to the man’s vehicle and struck the man, causing him injury.
After battering and attempting to rob multiple victims, Brantley continued walking eastbound on Main Street. Brantley then broke the window to the ARC thrift shop in the 200 block of Main Street and stole a bicycle from the store, committing another burglary. As Brantley continued eastbound he approached another victim in the 300 block of Main Street and battered that victim by striking him with the crucifix.
Victims and witnesses began following Brantley and watched as he continued traveling towards the intersection at Chestnut St and Main St. Ventura Police Officers arrived and took Brantley into custody at that location without incident.
Brantley was ultimately booked into the Ventura County Jail for multiple charges including: (3) counts of attempted robbery, (2) counts of commercial burglary, (1) count of assault with a deadly weapon, (2) counts of vandalism, and (1) count of elder abuse.
One of the victims (the 75 year old male) sustained a moderate injury to the face and was treated at a local hospital. The other victims sustained minor injuries. Neither Brantley, nor the arresting officers were injured during the incident.
DUI Investigation Resisting Arrest
On September 16, at approximately 8:30pm. the Ventura Command Center received a report of a single vehicle traffic collision in the 4200 block of E Main St.
Ventura Patrol officers responded and arrived on scene to find the driver, identified as 26 year old Thousand Oaks resident Christopher Nuciforo, standing in the roadway next to his vehicle that was resting on the raised center median.
As the officers questioned Nuciforo about the accident they began to suspect that he may be under the influence of alcohol and initiated a DUI investigation.
Nuciforo suddenly ran from the officers across E Main St in an attempt to get away. The officers gave chase and he was quickly apprehended.
They continued with their DUI investigation and determined that Nuciforo was driving while impaired and drove his vehicle up onto the raised median while attempting to negotiate a left turn.
He was placed under arrest and his vehicle which sustained moderate damage in the collision was towed from the scene.
Nuciforo was then transported to VCMC for treatment of a minor injury he sustained during his apprehension. He was later booked into the Ventura County main Jail on the charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest.
Suspicious Subjects Recovered Firearm
On September 16, at approximately 8:45pm, a VPD gang detective contacted a group of subjects who were drinking alcohol in the parking lot of Grant Park. During this contact the detective observed a handgun on the ground under a vehicle near where the group was first detained.
The detective requested additional assistance and several VPD patrol officers responded to the scene. The handgun was recovered and all the subjects detained were checked for any additional weapons however none were found.
The vehicle that the handgun was located under belonged to 27 year old Ventura resident Juan Magallanes, one of the subjects who were being detained. Magallanes is currently on probation for a firearm violation and has search terms for weapons and firearms.
Officers then conducted a search of Magallanes’ vehicle but no additional firearms were located.
None of the subjects detained claimed ownership of the discarded handgun which was found to be a loaded small caliber revolver.
All of the subjects were identified and released. The gang detectives will be conducting further testing on the recovered handgun to determine where it was obtained and if any of the subjects contacted had been in possession of it.
Attempted Robbery, Theft from Person, and Elder Abuse
On September 18, at approximately 10:45am, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a 911 call of an attempted theft of a cell phone that just occurred at Starbucks, 6128 Telegraph Rd. The suspect, later identified as 39 year old Ryan Leavitt, was described as being a vagrant and was fleeing the area on a bicycle. Officers responded and located Leavitt nearby in the parking lot of the shopping center.
During the investigation, officers determined there were multiple victims. The first victim was a 76-year-old male who was inside Starbucks sitting at a table with several other individuals. The victim’s cell phone was on the table next to him when Leavitt suddenly approached the table and took the phone. The victim grabbed Leavitt’s armed and had to forcefully take the phone back from him. Leavitt then turned towards the second victim, a 61-year-old female, sitting at the same table and made a threatening statement about taking her purse. Hearing this, the victim’s husband grabbed the purse to protect it. Leavitt left the business and tried to flee the area on his bike.
Leavitt was arrested and later booked into the Ventura County Jail for attempted robbery, theft from person (felony) and elder abuse. No one was injured as a result of this incident.
Burglary and Resisting Arrest
On September 18, at approximately 11:50pm, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a call from an alarm company reporting a silent alarm coming from the ATM at Union Bank, 576 S. Mills Rd. When officers arrived on scene, they observed the suspect, later identified as 28 year old vagrant Jason Gonzalez, tampering with the drive through ATM. Gonzalez saw the officers and attempted to flee on foot. After a brief foot pursuit, Gonzalez was taken into custody without incident.
The investigation showed that Gonzalez had used a prying tool to gain access into the ATM room and damaged wiring to the ATM. This was also the location of the safe.
Gonzalez was arrested for burglary and resisting arrest and booked into the Ventura County Jail.
Domestic Violence, Child Endangerment and Felony Resisting Arrest
On September 25, at approximately 1am, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a 911 call from an adult female reporting she was involved in a physical domestic with her boyfriend, later identified as 38 year old Ventura resident Richard Avalos. Officers arrived on scene and contacted Avalos outside of the apartment. It was determined that the adult female had been injured during the altercation and that Avalos had also punched her 7-year-old daughter.
When officers contacted Avalos, he was holding his 3-year-old daughter in his arms and refused to release her to the officers. Avalos was threatening to fight with officers if they tried arresting him or take his daughter. Officers began negotiating with Avalos, and after approximately 1 hour of talking to him, Avalos was convinced to release the child unharmed. He continued threatening to fight officers, at which time a taser was deployed. The taser was effective and Avalos was taken into custody without further incident.
After being medically cleared from VCMC, Avalos was booked into the Ventura County Jail for domestic violence, child endangerment and felony resisting arrest. He was also booked for an out of county felony warrant.
The two minor children were released into the custody of child protective services. The adult female had a minor injury to her face and refused medical treatment.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm in a Vehicle, and Possession of Narcotics Arrest
On September 25, at approximately 10:30pm, a Ventura Police K-9 officer was patrolling the area of Ocean Avenue Park, 1590 Ocean Ave., and contacted several subjects drinking inside of a parked vehicle, which was inside the park after hours.
During a search of the vehicle, several shotgun shells and an unloaded shotgun was found concealed near the driver’s seat and cocaine was found in the center console.
The suspects were identified as 28 year old Ventura resident Christian Torres, 19 year old Ventura resident Chris Gallegos, 18 year old Ventura resident Christian Albarran.
Christian Torres was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Jail for being a felon in possession of a firearm and having a firearm concealed in a vehicle. Chris Gallegos was cited and released for possession of a controlled substance and Christian Albarran was cited and released for a probation violation.