A 34-year-old Los Angeles resident was arrested and charged with debit card fraud on Wednesday, Dec. 2, after a short police vehicle pursuit.
At 11 am officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were on patrol in the downtown area of Santa Monica when they chanced upon a car that was parked in a red zone in the 1300 block of Fourth St.
The officers noticed the car had at least two occupants contained within so they pulled up behind the vehicle in order to assess what the problem with the vehicle could be.
As soon as the officers had parked behind the vehicle the vehicle suddenly pulled away at great speed.
The officers immediately turned on their lights and sirens and gave chase. After a short distance the suspect vehicle pulled over and stopped.
The officers approached the vehicle and as they did so they recognized the telltale odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.
The officers then asked the driver and passenger to exit the vehicle so that the officers could conduct a search.
The officers then searched this pair and discovered that they were in possession of several debit cards with other peoples names attributed and the relevant PIN numbers hand written on the back of each card.
The officers also spotted $1,100 in $20 bills among the cards along with numerous ATM receipts.
When questioned about these debit cards the driver of the vehicle claimed that they all belonged to various friends of his and that they had told him that he could use the cards and take out money whenever he felt like it.
The officers arrested this L.A. resident and he was charged with debit card fraud and identity theft. Bail was set at $50,000.
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.