LOMPOC - The St. Francis Veterinary Hospital on H Street in Lompoc is one of several local businesses in the area that have been hit by a string of break-ins and attempted break ins in January alone.
"They were lucky they didn't get any drugs because I've got steel bars on the windows", says clinic owner and vet Dr. Brian Hunt, "they made a mess of the windows, about 400 dollars worth of damage."
Right next door, the Carneceria Jalisco was hit three times, some of which might have been captured by security cameras in the store.
"I am happy they caught the guy", says owner Wilfredo Tovar, "I am happy for the police department."
Lompoc Police say they've arrested and charged 18 year old Ivan Gutierrez with the crimes as well as possession of methamphetamine.
Last weekend, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department arrested 18 year old Oliver Lim in Isla Vista for possession of stolen property from residential and vehicle burglaries in the college town, he's also facing a drug possession charge.
The Sheriff's Department says deputies found stolen TV's, cell phones, credit cards and other stolen items in Lim's apartment.
In many cases, law enforcement says drugs are a common motivation behind burglaries.
Veteran law enforcement officers say the methamphetamine menace that continues to plague the Central Coast continues to make people do things they otherwise would never dream of doing just to get their next fix.
The two 18 year olds, Gutierrez and Lim, are now staring at prison time.
For their part, H Street merchants are relieved police have their burglar in custody.
"I think the new chief is very good, he's very keen", says vet Brian Hunt, "I'm impressed that they caught this fellow so quickly, its great."
Law enforcement credits alert neighbors and witnesses for helping them track down both burglary suspects.
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:14 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:14:07 GMT
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