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Here’s a roundup of recent incidents and announcements from Ventura County agencies:
Chief to retire in January
PORT HUENEME — Port Hueneme Police Chief Andrew Salinas will be retiring from the department on Jan. 2, city spokesperson Scott Matalon said.
Salinas was hired as the city’s police chief in March 2017 after a 22-year run with the Oxnard Police Department. During his tenure with Port Hueneme, Salinas has been a champion of the legal marijuana industry and oversaw a constant decline in the city’s crime rate.
Following his retirement, Salinas anticipates a new career with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.
Jewelry theft at mall spurs search
SIMI VALLEY — A so-called “smash and grab” robbery at a Macy’s in Simi Valley sparked a search Wednesday night that included a sheriff’s helicopter, authorities said.
The theft was reported around 6:30 p.m. in the department store’s west location at the Simi Valley Town Center mall, according to the Simi Valley Police Department. The shopping center is at 1555 Simi Town Center Way.
The male suspect was wearing dark clothing and a dark face mask. He reportedly was carrying a small pickaxe-style hammer that he used to break the jewelry display case. He then stuffed the stolen goods into a dark duffle bag, authorities said.
After a brief confrontation with bystanders, the man fled on foot and was last seen hopping over a fence to an apartment complex north of the center in the 1500 block of Jefferson Way.
Police set up a perimeter and a Ventura County Sheriff’s helicopter responded to assist with the search, but the suspect wasn’t found. He was described as 20 to 30 years old, about 5 feet, 6-9 inches tall, with a medium build estimated around 170 pounds. He was said to have been wearing a black hoodie, dark pants or jeans and dark shoes with white stripes.
Anyone who saw the incident or took cell phone video is asked to call Simi police at 805-583-6950.
Cosmetics heir denied parole
VENTURA COUNTY — The Parole Board of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation denied the early release of convicted rapist Andrew Stuart Luster, 59, after a hearing on Wednesday, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.
Luster, a reported heir to the Max Factor makeup fortune, was convicted of 86 criminal charges in 2003, including the rape of an unconscious person and poisoning. He was found guilty of drugging and raping several female victims while they were unconscious.
Luster, a former resident of Mussel Shoals, was apprehended in Mexico by Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, prosecutors said. He was initially sentenced to 124 years in prison, though the sentence was reduced to 50 years in 2013 and then further reduced after changes in state sentencing law.
Luster is now eligible for release in approximately four years, according to the DA’s office.