Ventura County Sheriff – Incident Press Release
A Ventura resident was arrested for a series of crimes related to a vehicle burglary and fraudulent use of credit cards. The investigation revealed he was involved in various crimes throughout the region.
During the month of April, the victim parked her vehicle near the intersection of Seventh Street and Sycamore Road in the unincorporated area of Fillmore. The victim went for a jog and returned about 40 minutes later. When she returned to the car, she discovered one of the windows of the vehicle was shattered. Upon closer inspection, the victim learned that several valuables were taken such as electronic equipment and credit cards. As deputies investigated the crime, the victim received notice from her financial institution that a credit card had been used at a gas station in Santa Paula. The victim immediately canceled the credit cards.
Detectives conducted a follow up investigation and were able to identify the suspect as James Melton. On 05/07/20, investigators located Melton in the 6000 block of Webster Street in Ventura. The information received during the arrest led detectives to his residence which was nearby. A search warrant was obtained for his residence, vehicle and an offsite storage locker. During the execution of the warrant, several vital evidentiary items were recovered that included items taken from the victim’s car. Melton was in possession of multiple tools that are consistent with committing vehicle burglaries, such as window punches and bolt cutters. Additional evidence recovered suggests there may be additional victims. The investigation into other crimes is ongoing.
Melton was arrested and booked at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility for 459 PC-burglary, 182 (a)(1) PC-conspiracy, 484g PC- fraudulent use of access card, 496 PC- possession of stolen property, 11377(a) HS- possession of a controlled substance, and 11364 (a) HS- possession of drug paraphernalia. Melton was released shortly after he was booked as mandated by the California Judicial Council’s zero bail schedule. Melton has a court date on July 8, 2020.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to be aware not to leave valuables in vehicles parked on a public thoroughfare. If possible, it is wise to leave costly articles at home or out of view within vehicles.