By Tim Broughton
Was He Bluffing?
On Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 6:04 a.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department rushed to the 1500 block of Pacific Coast Highway after they had received a report of a man who had started a fire at the base of the bluffs. The officers were informed that a witness had seen a man who appeared to be feverishly attempting to set fire to the vegetation at the bluffs. Upon arrival at the location the officers spotted the suspect and also saw that he had indeed been attempting to start a fire. The officers then discovered that this man may well be a serial arsonist because he had an outstanding no-bail warrant out for arson. The officers arrested this suspected fire-starter and he was taken to jail and charged with arson. Bail for this 59-year-old homeless man was not granted due to the no-bail warrant.
It Was A Shoe In.
On Wednesday, December 28, 2016, at 12:15 p.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department responded to a radio call informing them of a theft and possible child neglect in the 1300 block of Third Street Promenade after an incident that had taken place at Bellagio Shoes, located at 120 Broadway. The officers went to the location and when they arrived they met the manager of Bellagio Shoes who pointed the suspect out to the officers. The officers approached and then detained the female suspect (who was pushing a baby stroller that contained a baby) while they made their enquiries. The officers learned that the suspect had entered Bellagio Shoes and whilst inside the store the suspect had concealed numerous examples of merchandise (shoes) under the baby in the stroller and then exited the store without making any attempt to pay for the items. The officers also discovered that the manager had followed the suspect out of the store, retrieved the shoes and informed the suspect that she was no longer welcome at the store. The woman had apparently walked away at that point but had then turned around, walked up behind the store manager and punched him in the head with her closed fist. The suspect had left the baby inside the stroller unattended while she assaulted the manager. The officers arrested this woman and discovered that other likely stolen items from a variety of retail establishments were also concealed under the baby. The officers subsequently discovered that the baby did not belong to the suspect but that she was in fact a nanny for the baby’s parents. The officers located the parents and returned the baby. This 23-year-old woman, of an unknown place of residence, was later charged with receiving stolen property, shoplifting and child endangerment. Bail was set at $100,000.
On Friday, December 30, 2016, at 5:35 p.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were on a foot patrol in an undisclosed area of the city when they chanced upon a man who was attempting to conceal an open alcoholic beverage bottle from which the officers had already spotted him taking a drink. The officers approached this man and began to chat with him. It soon became apparent to the officers that this man was intoxicated and evidently unable to care for himself due to his drunken state. The officers also noticed that this individual was also in possession of a UPS box containing brand new merchandise. When the officers examined the UPS box they discovered that it was addressed to a person other than the drunken man. The officers were able to contact the addressee named on the box and this person confirmed that he had been expecting delivery of the package but that it hadn’t arrived. The officers arrested this 36-year-old resident of Sacramento and he was delivered to jail and later charged with public intoxication and receiving stolen property. Bail was set at $1,000.
On Saturday, December 31, 2016, at 5:29 p.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department received a radio call informing them that the loss prevention agents at the Bloomingdales department store, located at 315 Colorado Blvd. had detained a man who they suspected of attempting to purchase some items with counterfeit one hundred dollar bills. The officers hastened to the location and met with the loss prevention agents and the suspect. The loss prevention agents said that this man had selected numerous items from the display racks and approached the checkout counter. They added that this man had then provided the cashier with $500 in cash utilizing one hundred dollar bills. The loss prevention agents said that the eagle-eyed cashier had suspected that something was amiss with these bills and had asked the loss prevention agents to examine the bills in order to authenticate said banknotes. The loss prevention agents, due to their intensive training and banknote identification skills, recognized some anomalies with the design of these one hundred dollar bills and immediately sprang into action, detaining the suspect and summoning the police. The officers searched this 28-year-old Palmdale resident and discovered that he possessed other suspicious looking examples of suspected illegal tender. The man was arrested and charged with forgery, burglary and a violation of probation. Bail was set at twenty thousand genuine dollars.
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.