Authorities track down convenience store robber

SANTA BARBARA — Just five days ago, at approximately 9 p.m., local authorities had begun a manhunt in pursuit of a masked gunman who had “walked into a Mobil gas station convenience store, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money,” according to county sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Drew Sugars.

“Before he left,” Sugars added, “he shot the clerk in the abdomen.”

The clerk survived the May 19 attack that occurred directly across the street from an area high school.

Deputies were dispatched to the scene and received reports that the suspect, described as a white male 25 to 30 years of age, six feet in height with blond hair, was last seen running through area neighborhoods to make good his escape.

Over the ensuing days, sheriff’s robbery-homicide investigators received various anonymous tips and independently developed leads which led detectives to focus upon Matthew Daniel Hamby as the principal suspect in the case.  It was determined that Hamby, 25, was residing in the Mission Hills region north of Santa Barbara in the community of Lompoc, and sheriff’s investigators made their move last Friday.

“Hamby was taken into custody (May 21) without incident, and faces charges of attempted murder and robbery,” Sugars said.

Hamby, reported to be a current parolee, is being held in Santa Barbara County Jail without bail as detectives continue to investigate the circumstances of the shooting.  Members of the public with any additional information are asked to contact sheriff’s detectives at (805) 681-4140. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the department’s tip line at (805) 681-4171.

Matthew Daniel Hamby


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