A 53-year-old homeless man who found a Fred Segal employee’s cell phone and tried to extort her for money for its return was arrested on Aug. 31.
At 5:45 p.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department went to Fred Segal, located at 500 Broadway in order to investigate a report of a theft from one of the employees.
When the officers arrived they spoke with the female employee who told them she had been on a break and had stepped outside to sit on a wall in the parking lot.
As she was out there she placed her cell phone on the wall next to her, but upon completion of her sitting on the wall break experience, she inadvertently left her cell phone on the wall and returned to the store.
Upon discovering she had left her phone on the wall she went outside again only to find the phone was missing.
The employee then called her cell phone and a man answered.
The man informed her he would return the phone on condition that she reward him with money.
The employee told him that she needed the phone and had reported it as stolen. Again the man asked for a reward.
The employee then called the police and told them what had happened and they arranged a sting operation whereupon a meeting was set up between the employee and the cell phone theft suspect.
Everything went according to plan and the suspect showed up at the designated location with the cell phone, but instead of getting a reward he got an arrest, on the charge of receiving stolen property.
The cell phone was returned to the employee and this 53-year-old homeless man was whisked off to jail.
No bail was granted, but he was presumably allowed to make his one phone call to an attorney.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.