2017 Press Releases

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is releasing details regarding the kidnapping case involving 55-year-old Virginia Paris and 52-year-old Joseph Hetzel of Lompoc. After three days of being held against her will, we are grateful that the victim is safe and that the perpetrator is in custody.

A coalition of government agencies and non-profit organizations applaud Congressman Alan Lowenthal, with co-sponsors Congressional Representatives Salud Carbajal, Julia Brownley, and Rohit Khanna, for introducing the Blue Whales & Blue Skies Act today.

Kidnapping suspect, 52-year-old Joseph Hetzel of Lompoc, is in custody. Just before 6:00 p.m. tonight, September 5, 2017, Hetzel was located and taken into custody without incident in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is pleased to report that 55-year-old Virginia Paris of Lompoc is safe with family and law enforcement in Nevada.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has learned that kidnapping suspect Joseph Hetzel and kidnapping victim Virginia Paris are possibly headed to the Las Vegas area.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., yesterday, September 1, 2017, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office began investigating a potential kidnapping that occurred in the City of Solvang earlier in the day.

At approximately 9:15 a.m. this morning, September 1, 2017, Sheriff's deputies were in the 1400 block of Oak Knoll Road in Orcutt conducting directed patrol due to recent criminal activity.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture proudly announces a new Pop-Up Exhibition called "Runaway," an innovative pavilion created by Greg Corso and Molly Hunker of the award-winning design and architecture collaborative, SPORTS. "Runaway" is on loan from the Museum of Contemporary Art and installed in the Historic Storke Placita located at 700 State Street in downtown Santa Barbara from September 2- 30, 2017.

A number of dead birds found in the area of North P Street in Lompoc are being tested for avian paramyxovirus. This virus can spread rapidly in pigeons and doves and can kill up to 100 percent of pigeons in an area.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that Johnnie Jingles-Williams, a 27 year-old resident of Sacramento, California pled to all charges arising from a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office operation conducted to proactively combat human trafficking on June 13, 2017 in Santa Maria.