Santa Maria

Police identify suspect in cellphone theft

The Santa Maria Police Department has identified a man who was caught on camera allegedly stealing a cellphone at a gas station earlier this week, thanks to the public's help.

While officials announced Friday morning they've determined an identify, they did not confirm whether an arrest has been made. 

At about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, an unidentified Santa Maria resident was getting coffee at a gas station in the 1000 block of East Stowell Road when he reportedly set his cellphone on the counter to pay for his purchase and forgot to pick it up.

Police reviewed the gas station’s security camera footage and discovered a man picking up the cellphone, putting it in his pocket and leaving in a white utility truck, according to Sgt. Paul Flores.


Police to step up holiday weekend patrols for impaired drivers

The Lompoc Police DUI Enforcement Team will deploy this holiday weekend to stop and arrest alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers. 

DUI saturation patrols will occur between 7 p.m and 3 a.m. in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests. The extra officers on the road, along with routine patrols, are aimed to reduce impaired driving, police said.

Drivers who take prescription drugs, particularly those with labels warning against driving or operating machinery, may be impaired enough to be driving under the influence.

Police said marijuana can also impair drivers, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

Drivers caught impaired can expect a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or DDVIP, free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free nonalcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The app has social media tie-ins and a tab for the non-designated driver to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

Funding for the checkpoint is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Santa Barbara County

Hwy 154 detour planned for Tuesday

Motorists traveling in either direction on Highway 154 will encounter a detour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday, a Caltrans District 5 spokesman said.

Those headed toward Santa Barbara will be directed off the highway at Stagecoach Road, returning via Paradise Road; those headed toward Santa Ynez will be detoured at Paradise Road before returning to the highway via Stagecoach Road.

This is a revised version of the route previously announced by Caltrans.

The detour is necessary so a vehicle involved in a recent crash can be lifted from an embankment and removed, said Jim Shivers, public information officer for Caltrans District 5.

Shivers said the detour should not delay motorists more than 10 minutes.

For traffic updates on other state highways in Santa Barbara County, call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs Office at 549-3318 or visit the District 5 website at