Santa Barbara Players Arrested

Two UC Santa Barbara basketball players have been arrested and accused of running up more than $3,000 in charges by using a telephone calling card that didn't belong to them.

Larry Bell, a senior guard who started 14 games for the team last season, and Eric Hare, a redshirt freshman forward, were arrested Wednesday at the apartment they share. They were picked up on suspicion of felony fraudulent use of a stolen calling card.

In a prepared statement, school athletic officials announced the two players "have been suspended from the team indefinitely pending the outcome of the investigation."

Coach Bob Williams said he could not comment on the arrests.

At this time, detectives suspect that only one card was used.

"We reasoned it was a felony charge because at this time the total loss to the victim is in excess of $3,000," school police chief John MacPherson said. "We believe more than 500 calls were placed over a 3-to-4 month period of time to locations inside and outside of California."

"The victim tells us that her card was either lost or stolen, she's not sure. The bills and the number of calls brought it to her attention."

Bell, 22, and Hare, 20, were held in Santa Barbara County Jail on $5,000 bail each before later being released on their own recognizance after promising to appear at a Dec. 3 arraignment.

Bell has been sidelined recently with a broken foot. He will be re-evaluated by doctors next week, and it had been hoped he would return to practice later this month.

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