A.G. couple suspected of stealing mail, breaking into cars along Central Coast

jhickey@thetribunenews.comAugust 9, 2013 

A routine traffic stop in Carpinteria on Thursday led to the arrest of an Arroyo Grande couple suspected of stealing large amounts of mail and burglarizing cars between Pismo Beach and Carpinteria.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies searched the vehicle of Zachary Hamlin, 33, and Amy Northcote, 39, when a deputy noticed that the occupants and vehicle matched the description of mail thieves reported by a citizen, according to a news release by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies found a large amount of stolen property connected to recent Honda Accord and Honda Civic auto burglaries in Carpinteria, Montecito, Santa Barbara and Isla Vista, including GPS units, iPhones, credit cards, electronic devices, cell phones, checks, I.D. cards, purses and clothing.

Also in the car were identity-theft materials; more than one half of an ounce of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $1,000; a large amount of stolen mail from residents in Montecito, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County; tools used to break into vehicles; and cash.

Hamlin has been on active probation in San Luis Obispo County for theft-related charges, and Northcote had been wanted by the Pismo Beach Police Department for similar charges.

Both were both booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of transporting methamphetamine, possessing stolen property, false impersonation, identity theft, mail theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of burglary tools, and possession of false government seals.

Additional charges for the suspects will be filed with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, the news release said.

Bail is set at $500,000 each.

Residents who may have been the victim of a recent auto burglary, specifically from a Honda Accord or Honda Civic, are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency to find out if their property was recovered.

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