Santa Monica police arrested a female minor after being caught driving a stolen vehicle while being unlicensed on Wednesday, July 17.
At 8 pm officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were on a routine patrol near the 200 block of Pico Boulevard when the police vehicle’s Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) signaled to them that it had read a license plate of a stolen car.
At that moment, the officers had been driving eastbound while the possibly stolen vehicle was travelling westbound.
After officers verified the status of the suspect vehicle with dispatch the officers did a quick u-turn and went in search of the vehicle and its occupants.
After about 20 minutes, the officers located the vehicle at Parking Lot Number Five, located in the 2600 block of Barnard Way.
The officers stopped and maintained surveillance of the vehicle until four people walked from the beach and into the vehicle.
The officers immediately positioned their vehicle so as to prevent the suspects from escaping and began interviewing the four suspects.
After a short period of investigation the officers discovered that a male suspect had concealed an eight-inch buck knife under his seat in the car, and also that the driver, a woman, had claimed that she had borrowed the vehicle from a friend whose name she was not able to recall at that evidently inopportune moment.
The officers contacted the real owner of the vehicle who told them that he had not given anyone permission to use his vehicle at all, and that is why he had reported it as being stolen.
Based upon the results of the investigation the officers arrested the driver, a minor, for grand theft auto, and being an unlicensed driver, as well as the other suspect, a 23-year-old man of Bakersfield who was charged with possession of a dirk or dagger.
Bail for the male suspect was set at $500.
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.