Officers conducted a stakeout early Friday morning to catch a man who had been spotted and accused of breaking into the remains of The Sub novelty store, which was destroyed in a fire last month.
Just before midnight Thursday, San Luis Obispo police received a report that a man might have broken into The Sub, which has been boarded up and fenced off since the Dec. 26 blaze gutted the eclectic store at 295 Higuera St. Officers went to the property but were unable to locate anyone.
They returned about 30 minutes later, according to a department news release, after the same man was reportedly seen back at the property, carrying a crowbar. Again, he was not there when officers arrived, but they noticed a window had been pried open and some property had been left, hidden out of sight, by the window. That property was returned to a Sub employee, police said.
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Officers started surveilling once at the property, hoping the man would return — which he did about 4 a.m., police said.
Ronald Charles Bolen, 27, had soot and ash on his clothes and confessed to being inside the building and placing the items by the window, according to the news release. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree commercial burglary.
Police Capt. Chris Staley said Friday that police had received reports of people trespassing on the property after the fire, but that Friday morning’s incident was the first report since the fencing was installed and the property owner hired private security.
As of late Friday morning, Bolen remained in San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.