SANTA MONICA—Officials from the Santa Monica Police Department arrested a suspect connected to arson and grand theft auto incident that occurred on Tuesday, February 23. Lt. Rudy Flores of the SMPD indicated in a press release to Canyon News that at 2:15 p.m. officers arrived to the region of 23rd and Dewey about a male trying to light a car on fire.

The call noted that the male subject was trying to light an item stuffed in the gas tank of the reporting party’s vehicle. After officers arrived and identified Alex Omar Aguirre, 28, from Los Angeles. Authorities spotted Aguirre leaning into the car window of a separate car, rummaging through the contents of that car. Smoke was spotted emitting from the inside compartment and the Santa Monica Fire Department was contacted.

Aguirre was detailed by authorities, as was the victim to obtain details of the incident, as fire officials extinguished the burning car. The victim told officers that the suspect tried to pick the lock of his car before he was confronted. The victim told the SMPD he spotted a burning rag stuff into the filler of the gas tank and was able to stop the fire before contacting 9-1-1.

The victim saw Aguirre trying to flee from the car, but the car would not start. The suspect exited the vehicle and was shortly taken into custody by officers where it was discovered he was on parole.

The SMPD learned that the second vehicle set on fire by Aguirre was an unreported stolen car from Los Angeles. He was booked for Attempt Burglary – 664/459 P.C., Arson – 452(d) P.C., Grand Theft Auto 487(D) P.C. and   Parole Violation 3056 P.C.

Anyone with any details about the incident is asked to contact Detective David Chabot from Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-6679 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.