Jewelry Store Robbery Suspect Arrested with Loaded Firearm

Santa Barbara Police Deparment (EDHAT GRAPHIC)

On March 15, 2024, around 10:00 p.m., Santa Barbara Police Department detectives arrested 40-year-old Omar Velazquez Sanchez, a Santa Barbara resident, near the intersection of Quinientos Street and South Milpas Street.

Sanchez is believed to have been involved in one robbery and two grand thefts/burglaries that occurred between February and March 2024.

All three crimes occurred at local jewelry stores in the City of Santa Barbara. The jewelry taken from the three stores was estimated to be worth approximately $53,000.

After weeks of investigation, Santa Barbara detectives identified Sanchez as the suspect involved in these crimes. Search and arrest warrants were obtained, and Sanchez was taken into custody by SBPD detectives and the SWAT team without incident.

During the arrest, detectives located multiple items of jewelry on Sanchez that are believed to be from the involved jewelry stores. Also located in the vehicle that Sanchez was driving was a loaded firearm with a removed serial number. This firearm was believed to have been used during the one robbery.

Sanchez was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail for the following crimes:

  • Felony burglary – 3 counts
  • Felony grand theft – 2 counts
  • Felony assault with a deadly weapon – firearm
  • Felony criminal threats
  • Felony robbery
  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Altered firearm serial number
  • Felon in possession of ammunition
  • Possession of a loaded firearm
  • Possession of a firearm with narcotics
  • Prohibited person in possession of a firearm
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • Prior serious robbery involving a firearm – 2 counts

Sanchez’s bail was set at $250,000.


Written by SBPDPIO

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    • So would you sentence all armed robbers to life in prison on their first offense, no matter the circumstances?

      I mean, that’s really the only way to assure that no commits another crime later in life. How you planning we pay for that? We’d need TONS of new prisons, taxes raised (or diverted from things like healthcare, education, defense, infrastructure, etc).

      COAST – do tell, what’s the plan?

  1. But, he is a person of color, who has been targeted by White law enforcement, To be held back and not allowed to become successful, ever. The unfair justice system, has obviously been set up to profit from another incarcerated minority. Maybe he’ll be the new shot caller when he gets back to Soledad or Salinas Valley State. Judging by the stack of charges,they knew who he was, and are setting him up for a life sentence.

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