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Grand Theft Arrest
updated: Jan 17, 2013, 1:06 PM

Source: Santa Barbara Police Department

Ari Benjamin Morguelan, age 33, of unincorporated Santa Barbara, was arrested for grand theft. Morguelan, a staff member of the Fielding Graduate Institute, stole a laptop computer belonging to a student and attempted to sell it on Craigslist.

On January 15, 2013 at 3:10 p.m., Santa Barbara Police Department Officer Doug Klug responded to the Doubletree Resort at 633 E. Cabrillo Boulevard to investigate the theft of a laptop computer approximately three hours earlier. The victim of the theft is a 28-year old woman from Des Moines, Iowa, who is a Fielding Graduate Institute student that was attending Institute seminars that were taking place in several conference rooms at the hotel. Her laptop computer, valued at $1200.00, was stolen when it was left unattended in a conference room over the lunch hour.

Doubletree Resort Security obtained security camera footage of the suspect in the incident entering the conference room where the theft took place and then exiting with the computer. A Fielding Graduate Institute executive that assisted with the investigation viewed the footage and identified the suspect as Morguelan. Morguelan is a staff member for the Institute's Marketing Department and was working at the seminars at the Doubletree.

Officer Klug discovered that Morguelan is a felony probationer with unrestricted search terms stemming from a theft conviction in Los Angeles County. Officer Klug contacted Morguelan at the Doubletree and questioned him about the incident. Morguelan acknowledged being on probation but denied any involvement in the theft. He even challenged Officer Klug to produce any evidence that implicated him in the crime. Invoking Morguelan's probationary search terms, Officer Klug first searched Morguelan's vehicle which was parked at the hotel but did not find the victim's property. However, upon looking through the contents of Morguelan's iPhone, Officer Klug found photographs of what appeared to be the victim's computer taken from inside of Morguelan's car. Additionally, upon looking at the phone's web browser, Officer Klug discovered that at 1:01 p.m. Morguelan had created a Craigslist posting, listing the computer sale for $900.00. Based on the totality of the evidence, Officer Klug arrested Morguelan for grand theft.

At 6:00 p.m. Sergeant Jill Beecher, Detective Greg Hons, Officer Tyler Larson, and Reserve Officer Don Dawes went to Morguelan's apartment on 200 Old Mill Road and conducted a probation search. Officer Larson subsequently found the stolen computer inside of the bedroom closet. The computer was later returned to the victim.

Morguelan was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on the aforementioned charge with a bail amount of $20,000.00.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:21 PM



 COMMENT 364571 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:32 PM

He shouldn't have to lose his job over this.... after all the computer was left unattended, the owner clearly was asking for it and is out to make this poor probationer's life miserable. Cops have nothing better to do than harass hard working stiffs trying to get by in a rich, white man's world.

Confirmed, brah.


 COMMENT 364573P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:32 PM

Dope. And also, whoever conducted his job interview. Duh!


 COMMENT 364576 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:37 PM

Boy, he looks so honest. I wouldda let him in to fix my sink.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:41 PM

This should be curtains for his Fielding job. If not shame on them.


 COMMENT 364585P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:47 PM

He did work in marketing after all.


 COMMENT 364586 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:48 PM

worst part of this whole story is that technically, the thief stole from one of his own COWORKERS!!!!

Good job, BRO.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:48 PM

900.00 Dollar for a stolen computer?


 COMMENT 364592 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:00 PM

Me? No, brah.


 COMMENT 364602 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:31 PM

WHY does the Fielding NOT do background checks of its employees? What a major fail on this. It is so commonplace to check all employees.. on a pre-hire basis. I bet they now do checks on all current employees.. I wonder how many of his friends now work there too?


 COMMENT 364609 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:43 PM

Don't know if this is the case here, but some employers do hire ex-convicts and/or individuals with prior arrest records. Giving them a second chance, etc., etc.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:46 PM

Perhaps he can find a job as a used car salesman.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:48 PM

You can take the crook out of the prison but can you take the prison out of the crook?


 COMMENT 364625 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 03:07 PM

if this was a government worker he would not be fired due to union policies - he should go to work at the city's water treatment facility where he can steal poop next time


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 03:43 PM

Put em on sum more probation that will teach em!


 COMMENT 364719 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 08:41 PM

How did an ex-con get a job at Fielding in their Marketing Dept or with the school in general?? I applied for a position there and received zero response. Nice job on your candidate selection process Fielding HR Manager!!


 COMMENT 364729P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 10:13 PM

-719 there's a reason they call em cons.


 COMMENT 364748P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 06:51 AM

571 You're joking of course. He should lose his job and whoever at Fielding who didn't do due diligence on hiring him should get bumped down the ladder.


 COMMENT 364760 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 07:27 AM

How on earth was this person working at Fielding?!!!With all the decent people who need jobs in this city this is what they choose? I think HR needs to look at who brought him in. Service (admin and faculty response) is already so lousy at that place that actually I am not surprised at the lack of oversight.

One more reason I do not go out of my way to admit I am a Fielding alum.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 07:32 AM

Wow a thread I haven't been deleted yet?


 COMMENT 364769 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 07:47 AM

Really 364571??
And if the woman had a short skirt on and was raped, was she "Asking for it"?


 COMMENT 364777P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 08:02 AM

I have an honest and very ethical friend who is looking for a job in marketing. So honest in fact that he would be wary of working at a place that hired alleged thieves.


 COMMENT 364778 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 08:05 AM

I'm surprised at the low bail amount. He just needs to sell 2 stolen computers to make bail. Get him off the streets!


 COMMENT 364818 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 09:53 AM

Good police work! We should be thankful we have enterprising detectives like officer Klug.


 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 04:51 PM

4571, I hope you're beiing sarcastic. Great detective work by all officers concerned.


 COMMENT 365633P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 04:18 PM

trying to pay for that iphone data plan any way possible, huh? what a simp!


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