The Santa Monica Police Department responded to a report of a stolen purse at the Lobster Restaurant, located in the 1600 block of Ocean Avenue Friday, Sept. 18 at 8:50 pm.
When the officers arrived at the scene they spoke with the victim who told the officers that she had placed her purse on the back of her chair, and as she had stood up to leave the restaurant she noticed that it was missing. The officers reviewed CCTV footage and noticed that in addition to the reported theft there had been a second victim.
As the officers were reviewing the footage they received a call from dispatch informing them that the victim’s cell phone was being tracked and was in the area of Fourth Street and Arizona Avenue.
Officers who were patrolling the area of Third Street Promenade also heard the call and realized that oftentimes when thefts of this nature occur in the downtown area the thieves usually attempt to use the stolen credit cards in stores in the downtown area.
These officers then spotted the two suspects in the Apple Store and additionally recognized them as being two individuals who were sought for similar offenses in the area. When the two men saw that the officers were looking at them they began to act nervously and hastened from the store.
The officers then detained these two suspects outside the store and began to question them. The officers asked one of these suspects if he possessed any illegal items and he said he did not.
The officers subsequently discovered that these men were in possession of stolen credit cards and also found out that the men had attempted to conceal other stolen credit cards inside air vents at the Apple Store.
An Apple Store employee also said that earlier both of these men had attempted to purchase a laptop computer but the credit card they had used had been declined.
Based upon the evidence the officers arrested these two men, aged 28 and 31, and both from Van Nuys. They were both charged with burglary, grand theft, credit card fraud, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
The 31-year-old was also charged with possession of a false government identification document. Bail for each was set at $3,000,000.