Bail was set at $10,000 after a 19-year-old homeless man stole a cell phone from the Sears department store in Santa Monica on Saturday, Feb. 14.
Officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were called out at 12:55 pm to investigate a report of theft at the Sears at 302 Colorado Ave.
The officers arrived and met with the suspect and the loss prevention agent, who were by then in the area of Fifth Street and Broadway.
The loss prevention agent explained that he had been monitoring the store’s security cameras when he noticed the suspect enter wearing a backpack.
He said that the suspect had immediately headed down the escalator and into the electronics department where he selected a boxed cellphone from a display shelf and then walked out of view of the camera behind the display shelf.
The suspect reappeared a few moments later but was not carrying the boxed cellphone.
The loss prevention agent continued to tell the officers that the suspect then exited the store so he followed him across Colorado Ave. and into Santa Monica Place mall, and then towards Fifth St. and Broadway.
The officers then spoke with the suspect and asked him if he had a cellphone.
The suspect said that he did and told the officers that it was in his backpack.
The suspect told the officers that they could look inside the backpack if they so wished.
The officers did wish to look inside the backpack and upon doing so discovered the cellphone in a box that the loss prevention agent had told them he had witnessed the suspect take from Sears earlier.
The officers arrested the man after the loss prevention agent had signed a private person’s arrest form, and he was taken to jail and charged with shoplifting and a violation of probation.
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.