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Man In Custody Following Alleged Crime Spree Involving Pickaxe In Quiet Ojai Neighborhood

OJAI (CBSLA) — A man was in custody Sunday, accused in a crime spree across a quiet Ventura County neighborhood over the weekend.

The spree includes attempted robbery, robbery, vandalism and assault charges.

Dustin Smead is accused of committing the acts in much of his own neighborhood.

Smead was first suspected of robbing a Circle K in the 900 block of Devereux Drive, before allegedly breaking into a home nearby.

Ventura County Sheriff's Department Senior Deputy Mario Molena said Smead was under the influence.

"He first attempted to buy some alcohol," Molena says, "he was pretty intoxicated."

Molena said the incident escalated after Smead's credit card was declined around midnight. He then decided to take the beer and cigarettes anyway.

Another customer allegedly tried to stop Smead from leaving and he got punched in the face, Molena says.

Police say a pickaxe was used in the attacks. The man was taken into custody shorty after.

"He came out the front door with a pickaxe in one hand and a beer in the other," Molena said.

On Sunday, police were working under the theory that Smead invaded the home next door thinking it was his.

CBS2/KCAL9's Joy Benedict spoke to neighbors who'd not see this type of drama play out before.

"It's a pretty quiet road, pretty quiet town. [The crime spree] is definitely not a normal thing," says neighbor Keith Braney.

Authorities told Benedict that Smead's alleged crime spree didn't stop even after he was arrested and taken to the county jail.

"He assaulted a nurse by spitting in her face," Molena says, "and then got into a physical altercation with deputies at the jail."




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