Sheriff's Use Snapchat to Arrest Students Brandishing Weapons
Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff
On October 4, 2017 deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Coastal Division investigated a “Snapchat” post by a Carpinteria High School student posing with a firearm. Sheriff’s deputies quickly identified and detained the student in the photo on campus. The 15-year-old student was ultimately arrested for criminal threats and brandishing a firearm. The firearm was later recovered and seized from the student’s residence. A 17-year old relative of the student was also arrested on campus for possession of a realistic pellet gun on school grounds. Both teens were booked into Santa Maria Juvenile Hall.
Later in the day, Sheriff’s deputies were alerted to an additional Carpinteria High School student who had also posted a photo on “Snapchat” holding a firearm. The 16-year-old student was contacted at his residence and arrested for criminal threats and possession of a replica firearm. He was also booked into the Santa Maria Juvenile Hall. It was later determined that there were never any actual credible threats to Carpinteria High School itself related to the Snapchat posts.
This is an example of how social media can be used in a criminal manner to threaten and intimidate others. The Sheriff’s Office wants to take this opportunity to commend those individuals who promptly reported the suspicious posts which helped lead to a quick resolution. Social media is a powerful tool and there is an important need to always use discretion and caution when posting information.
The City of Carpinteria contracts with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.