SLO transient burglarizes shop and passes out in gas station across the street
January 15, 2013
A 29-year-old transient was arrested for burglary after he insisted on sleeping inside a downtown San Luis Obispo gas station Sunday evening.
When San Luis Obispo police arrived around 7:30 p.m., officers discovered that the man had burglarized a popular sandwich shop across the street, the police department says. Police arrested the man for burglarizing Ben Franklin’s Sandwiches, as well as for burglarizing a grocery and liquor store, stealing a parked car and possessing stolen property, a banned substance and drug paraphernalia.
Carmel Colaccino refused to leave the Chevron station at the corner of Marsh and Higuera streets Sunday evening and kept passing out. When officers searched his backpack, they found a hypodermic needle believed to contain methamphetamine. They also found several unscratched lottery tickets, cash, cigarettes and a Google Tablet.
Colaccino admitted to stealing the lottery tickets, cigarettes and tablet from Padre and Grocery Liquors on South Higuera Street. The 29-year-old transient also admitted to burglarizing Ben Franklin’s, committing another burglary in Los Osos and stealing a vehicle parked in downtown San Luis Obispo on Marsh Street and leaving it near the corner of Chorro and Lincoln streets.
The Ben Franklin’s burglary occurred around 5:42 a.m. Saturday, and the burglary of Padre Grocery and Liquors occurred around 5:01 a.m. Sunday. Colaccino said he did not act alone but did not reveal co-conspirators. San Luis Obispo police are searching for two other suspects involved in the grocery and liquor store burglary.
A few hours after the burglary of the sandwich shop, the San Luis Obispo City Council held a special meeting to discuss the problems surrounding homeless and transients in the community. Several residents and business owners complained about the behavior of transients, including Mayor Jan Marx, who said a man who fit the description of a transient punched her in the arm outside city hall.
Councilman John Ashbaugh proposed placing surveillance cameras in places frequented by the homeless, like under the Marsh Street Bridge, to monitor their behavior. San Luis Obispo police cited Colaccino last week for illegally sleeping under the Marsh Street Bridge.
The police department also says that Coloccino had an outstanding warrant in Santa Cruz County.
Many members of the community have complained that the city of San Luis Obispo has become a “magnet” for homeless living in Santa Cruz. Several citizens have also said that building the proposed multi-million dollar shelter on South Higuera Street will attract even more homeless and transients to the area.