Police detain suspect in string of early morning robberies in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara police say investigators traced a string of burglaries in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone and downtown area to a 43-year-old man who was already on probation for burglary.

Police say that Brian Christopher Shotz, 43, was detained by officers while trying to flee the area of 18 E. Ortega Street after an alarm at Dargan's Irish Pub was triggered.

Officers noticed that Shotz matched the description of the suspect caught on surveillance video from an earlier burglary and subsequently discovered a large amount of cash, gloves, and methamphetamine in his possession, police say.

Police also found a cash register from Dargan's and a crowbar resembling the one used in the earlier burglary in some nearby shrubs.

Investigators say the string of burglaries began at Oreana Winery at 205 Anacapa Street at about 3:27 p.m. followed by the Test Pilot bar at 211 Helena Avenue about a minute later.

"Entry was made via the front doors of both businesses and appeared to have been done in a similar way to the entry at Dargan's. Nothing was taken from Oreana, but surveillance video showed a person resembling Schotz who was wearing gloves and carrying a crowbar," said a Santa Barbara Police Department news release.

Schotz was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for Tuesday's burglaries. Additional felony charges are pending, police say.

Investigators say two empty cash registers are still missing from the Test Pilot and Dargan's burglaries and are asking the community to contact Detective Thompson at 805-897-2325 if found.

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