Friday, February 9 at 6:01 p.m. – Ralphs market at 1644 Cloverfield Boulevard – A man walked into the grocery, took a cart and did his shopping. Having finished, he bypassed the checkout line (and the cash register) and simply walked out of the store with the groceries. When he was approached by a security guard, he reached into his waistband, simulated having a gun and told the guard to leave him alone or “I’ll kill you.” The man left; the guard called the police; officers responded, interviewed the guard and broadcast a description of the man.
Meanwhile, other officers responded to the 1800 block of 19th Street on a domestic disturbance call. Apparently, when the Ralphs robber got home his wife wouldn’t let him in the house (for whatever reason) and called the police. The responding officers recognized him from the broadcast description (and the fact that he was carrying the groceries) and so detained the gentleman. The Ralphs security guard identified him in a field show-up, whereupon he was arrested for robbery and taken to jail. No gun was found.
Wednesday, February 14 at 11:30 p.m. – Walgreens at 1932 Wilshire Boulevard – Officers, having responded to a Suspicious Person call at a nearby Rite Aid, were flagged down by a citizen who reported that the man who had been in the Rite Aid was now in Walgreens. In the store, police found the gentleman, sweating profusely, holding a shopping basket and standing among four empty Robitussin bottles on the floor of the aisle. Inasmuch as there were an additional number of empty Robitussin boxes on the floor, officers asked the man if they could search his person, he agreed, and the police found more bottles of what the 31-year-old man described as “poor man’s acid.” He said that his addiction to dextromethorphan had cost him his teaching job, his home and his family. He was arrested for commercial burglary.
Friday, February 9 at 10:00 a.m. – Police Department Headquarters at 333 Olympic Drive – A woman went to the property room at police headquarters (aka Santa Monica Public Safety Building) to retrieve her property. Apparently upset that she did not get all of the property that she had wanted, she set off the fire alarm. The entire building – which includes not only Police Headquarters but also Fire Department Administration – was evacuated. But it came to light that she had been seen tripping the alarm, and she was arrested for a misdemeanor violation of Penal Code section 148.4(a)(2): anyone who “willfully and maliciously sends, gives, transmits or sounds any false alarm of fire, by means of any fire alarm system or signal or by any other means or methods.” [If you can’t do it in a crowded theater, you surely can’t do it in Police/Fire Headquarters.]