Repeat offender attempts to rob Sam Blakeslee, lands in jail

February 2, 2023

James Delles charging at Sam Blakeslee with the former legislator’s iPad under his arm.


A man with a criminal history spanning five states is in jail after he attempted to rob a former California senator and assemblyman outside a drug store in San Luis Obispo.

At about 4 a.m. on Jan. 30, a security camera caught a burglar jimmy the lock on Sam Blakeslee’s personal office door at Blakeslee & Blakeslee, a financial service business on Marsh Street in SLO. The burglar spent about an hour in the office before leaving with bags of stolen items, including Blakeslee’s Apple Watch and his iPad.

Thief leaving Blakeslee & Blakeslee

Realizing an app on his cell phone could track the missing Apple products as long as the items remained charged, the 67 year old began to hunt for the burglar.

“I wanted to move quickly while my iPad and watch were charged,” Blakeslee said. “I began hunting him going to various locations.”

Eventually, the app led Blakeslee to the CVS on Marsh Street. Blakeslee then called 911 to report his items were with someone outside the store.

After about 15 minutes, Blakeslee noticed a man pull an iPad out of a shopping cart he was pushing. He snapped the suspect’s photo, who became enraged. The suspect charged at Blakeslee and attempted to take his phone.

Blakeslee held onto his phone, and after the man gave up, called 911 a second time. This time officers arrived in about five minutes.

A police sergeant criticized Blakeslee for not waiting for law enforcement to track down the items, even though a dispatcher said burglary reports are a low priority.

Officers then arrested 29-year-old James Delles on charges of burglary, grand theft, first degree robbery and possession of marijuana for sale. Delles has an extensive criminal record spanning five states. He is currently being held without bail.

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So the police criticize Mr Blakeslee here for helping them do their job, but countless other times the police post images of suspected criminals and ask the public for their help tracking them down. It seems here the police seargent knows Mr Blakeskee likely wouldn’t keep quiet about the police departments actions here as was trying a flimsy sort of preemptive CYA.

Sam is a good guy, but in this case an Apple watch and iPad are not worth dying over…. the homeless guy is feral, likely paranoid and who knows how irrational he could have been. The mediocre police response time made this situation worse. This could have gone sideways in a second. Please be more careful next time Sam, your community needs you.

The lack of LE involvement in the first call , IMO was more than likely the M word Money … LE, DA and the court system know that homeless folks and most others in low income brackets are not big court issued fine payers …GOV agencies need cash paying criminals , that also supply their own attorneys . Money is what keeps the GOV circus in business . Folks in the lower legal income brackets are only drainers of the GOV’s coffers

Whats weird about this is that the cops didn’t show up in on the first call, which might have been around 7 AM, I’m guessing, so what were the cops doing they couldn’t get there, Sam had the jerk already set up for law enforcment to cuff and stuff, they must have been too busy dunking donuts in there latte to get with it.

Geez! That was one stupid criminal! He picked the totally wrong guy. Unless his original goal was to end back up with a bed and three squares regular.

I suspect his problem is broader than just his IQ. Sounds like he has a screw or two loose. I fear that simply repeatedly incarcerating him will not do the trick. Prison in general does not prepare individuals to exhibit improved functioning in the real world. He likely needs some kind of rehab that he is not getting. I mean, how many times do we have to go thru the same routine of putting the guy in the slammer, he does his time, is let out, goes right back to the same business and gets picked up again after doing more people more damage?

Our society has little or no good ways to deal with someone this ill equipped to function in a way that doesn’t screw himself and everyone with whom he interacts. It costs a small fortune to keep these incompetents locked up, so it would benefit us all were there some reliable way to rehabilitate them. Just sayin’…..

It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That’s not only true of this dirtbag that uses a revolving door at the slammer but the attitude of posters that say keep him locked up. It’s obvious that the treatment this guy is getting will not change him and throwing taxpayer money to the tune of $106,000 for one year of incarceration in California makes no sense either. I just don’t expect the “Lock them up and throw away the key but don’t waste my tax money” people to change any more than this scumbag criminal.

So, what’s your solution?

I don’t know what the solution is, but it is definitely not continuing to utilize the same penal system that has utterly failed and resulted in the US having the highest incarceration rate in the world.

Put him in jail and keep him in jail… make him think about his behavior for a good long time….

I’m sure that will solve the problem. It didn’t work the first 5 times, but maybe this time it will. /s The system is broken.

Hmmm……there’s that common denominator again, and the recidivist d-bag was selling it. He should get a multi-decades long sentence in state prison where he can be gainfully employed picking up litter along highways, cleaning out debris-filled creeks, and cutting containment lines around wildland fires.

Really? Marijuana is the devil here? What decade do you live in? The guy has no prospects, cannot get a job that would allow him any place to live, let alone decent housing or any type of life, so he starts selling marijuana to try to get by and you want to blame marijuana? There is a whole desperate generation coming along that cannot afford any type of meaningful life, but you want them to behave like it was in the 70’s and you could afford a house and raise a family with the wages from virtually any job. Meanwhile the Sackler family hooked hundreds of thousands on opiods while collecting BILLIONS, and they get to donate to campaigns and help determine who governs and makes the laws that will benefit them. And 60 upvotes on this insant opinion? Maybe y’all can move to good old Malaysia where this would have been a death penalty case. I really can’t wait for this Boomer generation to go meet the Jesus they claim to love so much but whose teachings they don’t follow.

It’s weird to me that the police seem so reluctant in SLO to go after these homeless people who are stealing stuff every day. Theft is now a “low priority?” What are they so busy doing exactly?The stolen shopping cart thing needs to end already, but they won’t do anything about it, except fine the stores that get them stolen from? What?

The guy outside Vons has a stolen shopping cart, and is drinking out in the open every single day for the last two years, and they don’t even stop and warn the guy. I don’t get it.

This is why vagrancy laws were put in place… when they clean out the bushes along Highway one in Morro Bay they pull about 10 Albertson’s shopping carts out of the covert along with a mountain of garbage… you would think they would return them and or reuse the cart they steal but they don’t they just keep grabbing a new one…. this must be stopped…. they are buying drugs in the bushes… and they come out at night and take whatever isn’t nailed down… the people of this state are not getting their money’s worth… I call for a tax revolt until they clean up the streets of bums and crime….

You go, Sam! Atta boy…don’t care what the cops said. Too bad burglary reports are such low priority, but if so, you did the right thing!

Sam ought to run for mayor, reset the PD’s priorities, …

There is no doubt, Sam handled it very well. In his business, who knows what’s in that iPad and who took it. Certainly he is not complacent and if I ever hired someone look after my interests, he has proven his ability.