SANTA PAULA : Transient Arrested Over Theft of Food

A hungry burglar tore through drywall to enter a catering service and the kitchen of a school, taking a bottle of wine, brownies and other items, police said.

Police quickly arrested Mathew May, 27, in an orchard where he lives in a tent, about half a mile from the site of the theft. May was charged with burglary, authorities said.

May broke into the Bill Esty Community Center on Las Posas Road, gaining access to the kitchen of a Montessori school and to the Buenaventura Catering Co., said Sgt. Paul Oeschle.

Only food was taken in the Saturday burglary, Oeschle said.

"We don't know how much food he consumed, but it's evident he ate several food items," said Oeschle, who described May as "a transient in the area who had done this before, so we had an idea who it was."

Sybil Coyner, owner of the catering company, said the burglar ripped two holes into the building, each about 15 inches high and 2 feet wide.

"What made it interesting to us was the force that was used to get in through the kitchen just to eat brownies and drink wine," Coyner said.

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