California man caught sawing flagpole in front of Santa Barbara Junior High School


SANTA BARBARA, CA – On Sunday, January 17, 2021 at approximately 7:40 P.M. the Santa Barbara Police Department was called to Santa Barbara Junior High School on a report of an individual attempting to saw down the School’s historically-relevant wooden flagpole.

Upon arrival Officers saw an adult male now identified as Santa Barbara resident, Steven Kyle Vonbrandt, age 34, attempting to conceal himself behind the pole. The Officer observed a wood saw protruding from the nearly fully cut pole.

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Officers commanded Vonbrandt to the ground at which he took off running, full-speed with saw in hand. Near the vicinity of Nopal Street and Bond Avenue, Vonbrandt slowed due to exhaustion and dropped the wood saw between E Cota and Bond Ave, next to the curbline.

Vonbrandt was ordered to the ground and arrested without further incident.

The freshly painted white flagpole, was approximately 65-80 ft tall, and completely made of wood. Saw marks, nearly fully cut was observed approximately 5 feet from the base. Due to the severe damage, an assessment was made to permanently fell the pole so it would not injure passersby.

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Vonbrandt was arrested on felony related charges to the vandalism and booked at Santa Barbara County Jail. The investigation continues and my include additional charges pending a review by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office.