A Lompoc man was arrested on gun and stolen vehicle charges after a two-hour search in Vandenberg Village on Monday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.
A sheriff's deputy was on patrol in Vandenberg Village shortly after 5 a.m. when they noticed several opened mailboxes and spotted a small green truck near the 200 block of St. Andrews Way, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Raquel Zick.
The same truck, which was reported stolen out of Nipomo on Aug. 16, was captured on surveillance camera days before, in an area where residents reported several of their mailboxes had been tampered with on Saturday.
The deputy tried to stop the vehicle but its driver, identified as 32-year-old Andy Aguilera, of Lompoc, crashed into a mailbox and ran from the vehicle, Zick said.
Detectives arrested three suspects, including a male and female from Santa Maria, and seized a cache of vehicles, drugs, money and firearms, including "ghost guns," following a search warrant served by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, according to a spokesman.
As deputies established a perimeter and began tracking Aguilera, they received a call from a jogger in the area who found a handgun and parts of a cellphone in a nearby intersection.
Once deputies secured the handgun, dispatch sent an alert requesting that residents shelter in place, according to Zick.
Additionally, Lompoc Police, California Highway Patrol and a sheriff's K-9 unit assisted in the search.
Police tracked Aguilera for more than two hours and stopped him as he attempted to enter the backyard of a home in the 100 block of Galaxy Way, taking him into custody without incident shortly after 7:30 a.m., according to Zick.
Minutes after Aguilera's arrest, a second resident called to report a firearm in the intersection of St. Andrews Way and Clubhouse Road, where deputies recovered pieces of a second firearm, which they believe is associated with this incident.
Aguilera was booked into the Main Jail on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle; carrying a loaded firearm; commission of a felony while released on bail; and felon in possession of a firearm.
Due to Aguilera's release on a previous firearms-related charge, deputies requested a bail enhancement, which was approved and his bail was increased from $35,000 to $100,000, according to Zick.
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