Santa Monica police arrested a man and a woman who had not returned a vehicle to a auto rental company on Thursday, Dec. 31.
At 7:59 pm officers of the Santa Monica Police Department who were assigned to patrol the downtown area of Santa Monica were sitting in their police vehicle monitoring traffic when they were alerted by the Automated License Plate reader system that a stolen Hyundai Accent had just driven past them and was heading northbound on Ocean Avenue.
The officers sprang into action and located the vehicle amongst the traffic. The officers followed the car for several minutes while they verified that it was in fact the stolen vehicle and also alerted other officers in the area that they were following the stolen vehicle.
The officers stopped this vehicle in the 2500 block of Neilson Way and detained the driver, the front seat passenger an additional passenger and two small children. The officers began to ask questions and during this phase of the investigation the driver gave the police a false name.
The officers discovered that the driver (whose real name they had by then ascertained) had rented the vehicle on Dec. 6, 2015 and had been scheduled to return it to the auto rental company by December 21, 2015.
The vehicle had subsequently been reported as stolen by the auto rental company. The officers arrested the driver and the front seat passenger and the driver (aged 25 and from Los Angeles) was charged with vehicle theft and resisting arrest and the female passenger (aged 28 and from Los Angeles) was charged with vehicle theft. Bail for the driver was set at $5,000 and bail for the female passenger was set at $35,000. At the time of going to press we are not able to offer any explanation for the discrepancy in bail amounts.
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.