Herewith, a triptych of incidents from the Friday before Halloween in Santa Monica:
Burglary in the Parking Lot
Friday, October 26 at 3:50 p.m. -– Vons market at 710 Broadway – A woman was sitting in her car in the parking lot, waiting for someone and working on her laptop with her cell phone and purse at hand, when a man approached. He pointed a gun at her, demanded her property, and took her keys, purse, and cell phone. He then took off running, and his baseball cap flew off. [Evidence.] Officers on patrol detained a running man in the 1600 block of 5th Street; he turned out to match the description of the Vons parking lot suspect, and he was identified by the woman who had been robbed. Police also found her cell phone in the middle of the street, along with the gun, which turned out to be a plastic toy, or replica, depending on your point of view. No matter, since Penal Code section 211 only requires that the property be taken by “force or fear,” so the man was arrested for robbery and for violation of parole.
Suspicious on Adelaide
Friday, October 26 at 4:15 a.m. – 400 block of Adelaide Drive – An officer on routine patrol saw a suspicious vehicle parked at the curb with three people inside. He engaged them in conversation. They said they lived in the area but had gotten a flat tire. He checked and saw none. He continued the conversation and observed that the driver’s pupils were dilated; the driver confirmed that he had been smoking marijuana. The policeman invited all three to step out of the vehicle, and when back-up arrived, a search uncovered a glass pipe (the smoking kind), a digital scale, a collapsible baton (illegal), acetone (which can be used to erase the payee’s name on checks), and screwdriver, gloves, and binoculars. In view of all the circumstances, the driver, a Santa Monica resident, was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon (the baton), possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of burglary tools.
Face-off in the Gym
Friday, October 26 at 1:50 p.m. – 700 block of Washington Avenue – SMPD Officers faced off against the St. Monica’s Faculty on the basketball court as a part of Red Ribbon Week, during which students wear red ribbons as a demonstration that they are drug-free. The St. Monica’s gym was packed with students who came to watch their teachers play. Policeman Matt Rice suited up for the Officers while his wife, St. Monica’s Admissions Director Michele Rice, suited up for the Faculty. They were never on the court at the same time, though, as one or the other was always at courtside watching their two small children. Oh, the cops won the game, 43-32, but that might be because they had six players on the court on at least one occasion.