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.
Vehicle Tampering Arrest
On October 28, at approximately 2:30pm, a citizen in the 7400 block of Tyler Ct observed a male subject rummaging through a vehicle that was parked on the street. When confronted this male ran to a grey colored van and sped away.
The citizen began following the van in his own vehicle while relaying this information to the Ventura Police Department Command Center.
The suspect van drove to the shopping center at Telegraph Rd and Kimball Rd where a female exited and walked away. The van again drove off southbound Kimball Rd and entered the eastbound 126 freeway and accelerated at a high rate of speed as the responding officers caught up to it.
The officers were able to stop this vehicle on the 126 Freeway just west of the Wells Rd off-ramp where they took the driver, 37 year old Ventura vagrant Michael Barnett, into custody without incident.
The investigation determined that Barnett, who was wearing a uniform shirt from a delivery company, had been on Tyler Ct and entered an unlocked vehicle possibly looking for items to steal when confronted by the citizen. It was not known if Barnett actually stole any property as the owner of the vehicle was not available for contact.
Barnett was transported to the Ventura County Main Jail where he was booked on a misdemeanor charge of vehicle tampering. His van was impounded.
The female that Barnett dropped off was not located and her identity is unknown. She was described as a Hispanic female, 25 years old with bleach blonde hair. She was wearing a brown leather jacket, grey shirt, and black pants.
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this crime is urged to call the Ventura Police Department Watch Commander at 339-4416, 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.
Train vs. Pedestrian
On October 30, at approximately 2:30pm, the Ventura Police Command Center was notified by Amtrak dispatch regarding a pedestrian being struck by an Amtrak train on the railroad tracks near the railroad trestle west of the Amtrak Station at 39 Harbor Blvd. Officers arrived on scene and found the victim, a 35-40 years old male lying adjacent to the railroad tracks. Ventura Fire and AMR personnel also responded and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
According to the train conductor the northbound train had just left the Amtrak Station and was travelling at approximately 25 mph, when he saw the victim intentionally walk onto the tracks in front of the train. All emergency attempts were made to stop the train, but the train did not stop in time and struck the victim.
Ventura County Medical Examiner responded to the scene. The name of the victim was not immediately determined. Once the victim’s identity has been confirmed, the coroner’s office will notify the next of kin.
The train was delayed at the scene for approximately two hours while the investigation was being completed.
Commercial Burglary with Arrest
On November 2, at approximately 4:15am, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a call of an audible burglary alarm at Batteries Plus located at 1725 S. Victoria Avenue. When officers arrived, they found that a window had been broken out and it appeared the store had been burglarized. The interior of the business was searched, but no suspects were found inside. Officers contacted a representative from the store and were able to view security video footage of the incident. The video showed a male subject break the window, enter the store, take a flashlight, and then flee the business. Officers immediately recognized the suspect as 44 year old Ventura vagrant Casey Ryan from an earlier call the previous evening. Within approximately 15 minutes of viewing the video, officers located Ryan at the CVS store at Telegraph and Victoria. Officers detained Ryan and found him to be in possession of the stolen property from the Batteries Plus burglary.
Ryan was already on probation for being under the influence of a controlled substance and for petty theft with a prior conviction. Ryan we placed under arrest for commercial burglary and transported to the Ventura County Jail.
If anyone has information related to this crime, they are encouraged contact the Ventura Police Department at (805) 339-4416.
Stolen Vehicle Arrests
On November 3, at approximately 8:45am, an alert citizen called to report suspicious circumstances. Two people were seen unloading a large amount of property from a parked vehicle in the 200 block of South Garden Street and then walked away into the surrounding neighborhood. A records check revealed the vehicle was reported stolen.
As officers arrived, they checked the surrounding area and located the two suspects, 22 year old Ventura resident Nicholas Gebber and 26 year old Maria Vela in an adjacent residential complex. The subsequent investigation revealed Gebber was responsible for the stolen vehicle and Vela was found to be in possession of a controlled substance. Gebber, who is a Post Release Offender for prior possession of stolen vehicle, narcotics and shoplifting, was arrested and booked into Ventura County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle. Vela, who is on local probation for previous drug and property crime charges, was arrested and booked at Ventura County Jail for possession of a controlled substance.