An observant Santa Monica beach-goer helped in the arrest of three car thieves on Saturday, Sept. 8 after identifying them inside a police perimeter at Third Street and Bicknell.
At 4:15 p.m. SMPD officers were assigned to the perimeter point at the intersection after another officer had been alerted by his Automated License Plate Reader of a stolen vehicle in the area.
The officers believed that the car thieves had abandoned the vehicle after they had realized the police had spotted them.
While the officers were at the perimeter point, a male driver approached them and told them he had recognized a female who was being detained within the perimeter.
He told officers the woman had been involved in an attempted car theft earlier that day at the beach, adding he was also able to identify another man involved in the attempted theft who was also being detained.
He told the officers that he had been at the beach with two female friends and that they had gone there in two vehicles.
He said the vehicles had been parked about 15 feet apart and before they left, they had decided to transfer some items from one car to another.
As they were loading the items three people had approached one of his girlfriends’ vehicles and had begun to take some items.
The girlfriend had started to yell at them to stop, and at that point he himself had rushed over and confronted a man who had taken a cell phone from the vehicle.
The man had removed the cell phone from his pocket and then apologized for taking it.
The reporting party had then asked these three for some identification but one of the female suspects had hit him on the arm with a closed fist twice before all three of the suspects had fled the scene.
A short while later all three suspects were stopped by SMPD for driving a stolen vehicle.
A shaved car key was found in the male suspect’s possession.
The driver who had reported this then positively identified all three suspects and they were all arrested and charged with grand theft auto.
The suspects consisted of a 23-year-old female of Newhall (bail $35,000), a 43-year-old male resident of Sylmar (bail $35,000) and a 39-year-old Pacoima resident who was also charged with a probation violation and was not granted bail.
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.