Local death threats lead to Santa Barbara man

by Staff

University Police traveled to Santa Barbara on Jan. 16 to arrest a former student who had threatened to kill a financial aid employee.

The former student, Ken Katsura, 33, of Santa Barbara, called the university president’s office on Jan. 10 and identified himself by providing his social security number. The secretary who answered the call said Katsura was frustrated because he was unable to get his transcripts because of a financial aid hold, according to Marc Fox, University Police crime prevention specialist.

Katsura became more agitated as the call continued, Fox said, and he finally said he would shoot and kill a specific female employee of financial aid if he didn’t get his transcripts.

After obtaining an arrest warrant and locating Katsura, University Police Detective Chris Jacobsen and Sgt. Charles Schwoerke were sent to Santa Barbara to detain Katsura.

Katsura was arrested for making terrorist threats and was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail. He was then extradited to San Diego County Jail, where he is still in custody. Bail was set at $50,000.

“Any threat toward students and staff that shows intent, immediacy, is specific and puts a person in fear for their safety is taken very seriously by the university and the University Police,” Fox said.

Attempted burglary of Mormon Institute

A 26-year-old unemployed man was arrested in connection with an attempted burglary in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Institute of Religion on the corner of Montezuma Place and Lindo Paseo on Monday, Jan. 20.

The man, Daniel Jason Vela, of the 3800 block of Van Dyke Street, exited through the front door of the building and surrendered to University Police.

Vela had attempted to steal a cash box, clothing and food, Fox said.

Vela was booked into county jail for burglary. He was released on $5,000 bail.

Man attempts to steal basketball jersey

An unidentified man attempted to steal a basketball jersey from the equipment room in Peterson Gym on Sunday evening.

A witness working in the equipment room saw the man run out of the room with the jersey and chased him until he stopped at the crosswalk of 55th Street near the south end of the parking lot. The witness took the jersey from the suspect before he ran away. University Police were unable to find the man.

The witness described the man as a white male, 6-feet tall, 185 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing muddy blue jeans, a dark sweatshirt, dark tennis shoes and a baseball hat with a “P” on it. Anyone with information should contact the University Police investigations unit at 594-5722.


The following crimes were reported to University Police between Jan. 20 and Jan. 27:

Disturbing the peace 7

Disturbing the peace/fighting 1

Car theft 1

Burglary 5

Petty theft 2

Fire 5

Vandalism 4

Traffic accident 3


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