4 arrested in connection to string of pharmacy burglaries in Santa Barbara, Ventura Counties

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Four men from Long Beach were arrested Tuesday in connection to three pharmacy burglaries that occurred in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies responded to Montecito early Tuesday morning after receiving word that the San Ysidro Pharmacy at 1487 East Valley Road was broken into just before 4 a.m.

The sheriff's department sent out a "Be on the lookout" to nearby law enforcement agencies in search of any possible suspects.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office contacted their counterparts in Santa Barbara County to inform them of another pharmacy robbery that took place in Ojai earlier that morning.

Ojai Rexall Drugs located on the 1100 block of Maricopa Highway was burglarized at around 1:30 a.m.

Sheriff’s deputies suspected the group may be headed north to commit more crimes.  

At around 4:30 a.m., a sheriff’s deputy in Santa Ynez observed an Audi SUV enter the parking lot of the Star Drugs pharmacy on the 3500 block of Madera Street. The vehicle then drove out of the parking lot and parked across the street.

Due to the time of day and the recent pharmacy burglaries the deputy made contact with the four male occupants of the vehicle. 

Deputies searched the vehicle and located bottles of prescription pills, a crow bar and clothing that matched the description of clothing worn by the suspects in the Montecito and Ojai pharmacy burglaries.

Deandre Smith, 26, Joseph Smith, 21, Eddie Smith, 20, and Alonnje Gary, 23, all of Long Beach were arrested and transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail.

The men could face charges commercial burglary, conspiracy, receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

Joseph Smith was also booked on charges of loitering on private property. They are all being held on $20,000 bail.

Investigators are trying to determine if the suspects are linked to similar crimes in the area or other jurisdictions.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is asked to contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at (805) 681-2724 or to leave an anonymous call (805) 681-4171.

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