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VENTURA : N.Y. Drifter Held in Burglary Spree

Ventura police believe they have halted a mini-crime wave in the downtown area with the arrest of a 33-year-old drifter from New York.

Michael Anthony Amaro was arrested by patrol officers last Wednesday, one day after a window was smashed at Heart’s Delight, 324 E. Main St., and merchandise was stolen, including an 18-inch-tall stuffed leather elephant valued at $100, Ventura Police Cpl. John Leach said.

Amaro was arrested after he was identified by several witnesses to the robbery, police said.

Amaro is also suspected of burglarizing about half a dozen other downtown businesses during the past six weeks. Among those burglarized were Up Your Alley and the Beads Gallery, both on Main Street.

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In most of the burglaries, a large rock was used to smash the front window, and merchandise was stolen from display cases. A few of the stores were burglarized a second time after owners had boarded up the broken windows, Leach said.

When Amaro was arrested at the Hamilton Hotel on Main Street, detectives recovered a stolen leather jacket, authorities said. Officers believe the rest of the property was traded for drugs, Leach said.

Amaro, who came to Ventura from New York six months ago, had been on probation after being convicted of robbing Woman’s World, a clothing store on Oak Street in Ventura.

He is being held in Ventura County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Oct. 6.

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