A 40-year-old man was arrested and charged with theft on Friday, June 5, after stealing a cell phone left unattended on the beach with other belongings.
Officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were called out to the Santa Monica Beach Tower 10 at 3:30 pm in order to investigate a report of theft.
The officers spoke with the victim and learned that the victim and some of her friends had been enjoying a day at the beach and that they had placed their belongings under Tower 10.
They had then left the area for a few short moments. Upon their return they had noticed that their belongings had been strewn around and that several items were missing.
Among the missing items were the victim’s cell phone and a packet of potato chips. The victim told the officers that a few moments after noticing that items were missing she had spotted a man walking down the beach with a packet of potato chips of exactly the same brand and flavor as the ones that had been taken.
The victim had then followed the man and while she was doing so she had heard her cell phone ringtone emanating from this person’s clothing.
At that time the victim had chanced upon a city maintenance worker and she added that she had asked the worker to call the police.
The victim had then watched the suspect enter a public restroom on the 1100 block of Santa Monica Beach where the victim had waited for the arrival of the police.
Suddenly the suspect exited the restroom and started walking towards the downtown area but was apprehended by other officers as he was doing so.
The officers questioned the suspect, of an unknown place of residence, and this man admitted to taking the potato chips and cellphone but said that when the phone had started ringing he had decided to smash it to bits and flush it down the toilet in the public restrooms.
The officers arrested this individual and he was charged with theft. Bail was set at $1,000.
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.