Suspect Arrested in Santa Maria Cigarette Shop Break-In

A tip from an observant neighbor led police to catch an alleged burglar in the middle of a tobacco shop break-in on Friday and recover thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes, authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies arrested a suspected burglar and recovered $3,400 worth of stolen merchandise following a break-in at a Santa Maria cigarette shop on Nov. 23, 2018. (Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department)

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a suspected burglar and recovered $3,400 worth of stolen merchandise following a break-in at a Santa Maria cigarette shop on Nov. 23, 2018. (Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department)

Victor Darnell Jefferson, 39, of Bay Point was booked on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglary tools and resisting arrest, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Daniel Calderon said in a written statement. Jefferson was already on Post-Release Community Supervision, or felony probation, for prior burglary convictions.

A witness called 911 about 1:40 a.m. to report seeing someone using bolt cutters to break into a tobacco store in the 4800 block of South Bradley Road, north of Clark Avenue, according to Calderon.

Sheriff's deputies arrested a suspected burglar and recovered $3,400 worth of stolen merchandise following a break-in at a Santa Maria cigarette shop on Nov. 23, 2018. (Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department)

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a suspected burglar and recovered $3,400 worth of stolen merchandise following a break-in at a Santa Maria cigarette shop on Nov. 23, 2018. (Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department)

Deputies, along with two sheriff’s department K-9s, arrived to find Jefferson crawling out of the smashed front window of the business with a large bag, the sergeant said. Officers arrested him after a short foot pursuit.

“Jefferson was found to be in possession of numerous stolen items worth about $3,400,” Calderon said. He also had burglary tools.

Jefferson’s bail was set at $20,000 pending his initial court appearance, Santa Barbara County booking records show.