SANTA MONICA—Lt. Erika Aklufi of the Santa Monica Police Department informed Canyon News via email that two suspects involved in a grand theft had been arrested as of Monday, April 29. The suspects were charged on suspicion of committing two counts each of burglary from a vehicle and grand theft.

On April 24, at 12:24 pm, a dark colored Nissan Altima with three occupants pulled into the Chevron at 1344 Santa Monica Boulevard and stopped next to an open car door of a vehicle getting gas. One of the suspects took the victim’s purse from the front seat.

At about 12:30 p.m., the same Altima pulled into the Sinclair gas station at 1944 Pico Boulevard and stopped in front of the second victim’s vehicle at the pumps. The rear passenger in the Altima opened the victim’s car door, took the victim’s purse, and fled with the other suspects.

Around 30 minutes later, the same suspects shattered the window of a vehicle parked at the Shell station at 1866 Lincoln Boulevard and stole a laptop, iPad, and other property.
The suspects were tracked and arrested with the assistance of the Hawthorne Police Department. Officers recovered several hundred dollars and most of the victims’ property.

Raul Santino Lopez.
Photo courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department.

On April 26, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed felony burglary and grand theft charges (487a PC and 459 PC):

-Raul Santino Lopez, 20, of Richmond
-Agustin Jesus Vega, 21, of Richmond

Lopez and Vega do not have a significant arrest history in the state of California. Anyone with details related to the incident or the suspects is asked to contact Detective Tavera at Hector. or the Watch Commander 24 hours at 310-458-8427.