CRIME & SAFETY
Ventura County woman killed man during weed-induced psychosis
A Thousand Oaks woman was convicted of killing a man during an episode of psychosis that was brought on by marijuana, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. The suspect, identified as Bryn Spejcher, 32, was convicted of killing Chad O’Melia, a man she had been dating for a few weeks. On May 27, […]
Former coach in Ventura County headed to state prison for sending explict messages to teenager
Prosecutors say a former high school track coast in Ventura County has been sentenced to two years in state prison after admitting sending sexual images of himself to a teenage student. Aaron James Mora pled guilty to a charge of sending harmful material to a child, and admitted to special...
Suspect Arrested for Attempting to Kill His Parents
Proving once again that having children can be either God’s greatest blessing or a living nightmare for parents, 21-year-old Thousand Oaks resident Scott Goldberg stands charged with the attempted murder of his parents following his arrest late on the night of November 19th . According to Ventura County Sheriff’s...
Hail Marys and lives forever changed: Reliving Ventura County’s first mass shooting
Sometimes 30 years feels like minutes. Carol Wilson dove to the floor and started crawling a moment after the shotgun blasted at a state unemployment office just before noon on Dec. 2, 1993. Coworkers at the counter she just left fell from the gunfire. Wilson, who helped people file for unemployment benefits, kept moving on all fours toward a back room and a phone. ...
Roundup: Pest foggers trigger explosion at Ventura home, more news
Here's a roundup of recent incidents and announcements from Ventura County agencies:. An explosion in a west Ventura apartment Thursday was due to poor placement of pest control foggers, city fire officials said. The explosion was reported around 10:50 a.m. inside a residence in a two-story multifamily complex near Ventura...
Oxnard Residents Alert: Police to Conduct Safety Enforcement Focusing on Cyclists and Pedestrians on December 3
The Oxnard Police Department will conduct a traffic safety operation on December 3, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The focus will be on driver behaviors that endanger cyclists and pedestrians. They will target violations such as speeding, illegal turns, failure to yield or provide right of way, and ignoring signs and signals.
Bryn Spejcher found guilty in cannabis-induced killing of man she dated
After deliberating for less than four hours Friday, a jury found Bryn Spejcher guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2018 killing of Chad O’Melia of Thousand Oaks. When the verdict was read, Spejcher dropped her head to the table and cried quietly. She later broke out in loud sobs after her lawyers asked the jurors to confirm their unanimous verdict, one by one. The panel had heard evidence and arguments since Nov. 9. ...
Drug Dealer Busted, Loaded Handgun Among the Confiscated Items
The Fentanyl and Overdose Crimes Units (VC FOCUS) of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department are working overtime as they collaborate with numerous regional law enforcement agencies to stem the tide of illicit drugs washing through their jurisdiction, as the shadow of death continues to spread across so many communities.
Released from Jail…and Right Back in for Resisting and Burglary
In a town the size of Fillmore—with a population of just over 16,000 souls—living the life of a professional miscreant who routinely shows up on the local constabulary’s arrest blotter makes the prospect of social anonymity something of a challenge. That may be the reason why 30-year-old...
Weekly Safety Report: Gang Arrest, House Fire, Pedestrian Fatality, Theft, Collision, and Car Burglaries in Ventura County, California
This week in Ventura County, California, several incidents occurred that require attention for the weekly safety report. These incidents include the arrest of gang members for a stolen vehicle pursuit and firearms possession, a tragic house fire in Simi Valley where two dogs perished, the identification of a pedestrian killed on the Ventura Freeway, a theft at a Westlake Village Costco, a collision between a car and a boy resulting in injuries, and a string of car burglaries in a Thousand Oaks neighborhood.
Simi Valley Man Convicted of Killing His Girlfriend
Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced that on November 21, 2023, Euren Balbuena a 33-year-old man from of Simi Valley, was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder of his girlfriend Zaira Patiño-Trejo. The jury also found Balbuena guilty of assault with a deadly weapon against the victim’s...
Gangsters Busted with Illegal Gun in Stolen Car
If one could find a book entitled “How to Outrun the Cops in a Stolen Car” either on Amazon.com or in the stacks of bargain closeouts at a local bookstore, we might surmise that the opening chapter might be entitled “Know Where You’re Going.”. Apparently that...
Ojai Raptor Center treats young red-tailed hawk with multiple gunshot wounds
An Ojai-area wildlife hospital recently found multiple gunshot wounds in a young red-tailed hawk with a broken wing. The patient – believed to be under a year old and female – was initially found in a chicken coop in a neighboring county earlier this month. The bird was taken to a wildlife center...
Ventura County Alert: Beware of 'Captain Greg Gibson' Phone Scam Extortion
Residents of Ventura County are on edge following reports of a new phone scam where swindlers pose as 'Captain Greg Gibson' from the Sheriff's Office, threatening victims with a supposed outstanding warrant. The scam involves persuading the victims to make immediate payments using credit cards, gift cards, payment apps, or cryptocurrency to avoid arrest. The Ventura County Sheriff's Office (VCSO) is warning the public that these calls, boosted by caller ID spoofing to look genuine, are fraudulent and that no law enforcement agency ever requests payments over the phone.
Borderline owner sentenced to 60 days jail time in embezzlement case
Borderline bar owner Brian Hynes was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in county jail for embezzling almost $44,000 from a local Rotary Club. He was also ordered to repay the money and serve two years' probation. Hynes said afterward he thought Ventura County Superior Court Judge Derek Malan was "extremely fair" in the sentence handed down in a Ventura courtroom. ...
Bryn Spejcher testifies she 'went black' on cannabis before fatally stabbing man she was dating
Editor’s note: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence and psychosis that may be disturbing to some readers. Bryn Spejcher has told the story of the night she killed Chad O’Melia to a long list of police detectives, attorneys, therapists, doctors and forensic experts over the past five and a half years. On...
Ventura Barn Fire Possibly Sparked by Homeless Individual, No Injuries Reported
Discover more about the devastating barn fire in Ventura that occurred early Monday morning. Despite strong Santa Ana winds, firefighters managed to control the blaze within an hour. Learn about the potential cause and the impact on the surrounding area.
Gravel Truck vs Lexus, Car Engulfed in Flames
On Monday, November 27, at 2:59 p.m., Ventura County Fire Department, Fillmore Fire Department, Ventura County Aviation Unit (Air Squad), AMR Paramedics, and California Highway Patrol were dispatched to a reported traffic collision at eastbound SR-126/Old Telegraph Road. Arriving firefighters reported a red Lexus sedan and a Dual gravel truck involved with the Lexus fully engulfed in flames; Ventura County Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire. According to radio traffic, both drivers received minor injuries. California Highway Patrol left one eastbound and westbound lane open at the scene, causing traffic to back up from Old Telegraph Road into the Fillmore city limits to the east. Cause of the crash is under investigation by CHP. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
Owner of bar in Conejo Valley mass shooting gets jail sentence for grand theft conviction
He became a major figure in the Conejo Valley because of his efforts to help the community recover from the 2018 Borderline Bar and Grill attack, which left 12 people dead. But now, Borderline owner Brian Hynes has received a jail sentence, after being convicted of embezzling more than $43,000 from a non-profit group.
World's largest firefighting helicopters now available in 3 SoCal counties to battle fires all year
The CH-47 Chinook is the largest firefighting helicopter on the planet, able to drop 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant, day or night, and can refill the tanks in under 90 seconds.