SANTA MONICA—Amid looting that occurred in Santa Monica on May 31, a restaurant manager from Pono Burger took the opportunity to purchase a television from a group of looters passing by the business as they were loading items into their vehicle.
The video originally reported by Fox News 11 shows the manager, who is assumed to be Chris Evans step out of Pono Burger and approach the looters. The two parties began negotiating a price and settled on selling the television for $300.
Evans is seen reaching into his back pocket where he grabs a stack of cash to be given to the looters. He shuffles through the dollars before handing the money over and the television is taken over to the side.
Amanda Barrie, a nearby resident to the restaurant noticed the altercation taking place from her balcony, and captured video footage of the transaction while being under siege.
As of Friday, on June 12, Pono Burger announced in a statement that the employee has been placed on leave pending an investigation of the incident.
“We have reviewed the video and report online regarding the activities of an employee at Pono Burger. We have contacted our employment legal counsel and have opened an investigation. We want to ensure that we thoroughly review all information available and quickly reach the correct decision based on the employee’s actions,” said Pono Burger in a statement.
Buying or receiving stolen property is a felony under California Penal Code 496. Offenders can face up to 3 years in prison or a $10,000 fine. Charges could be reduced to a misdemeanor if the stolen property is less than $950.
Evans has been employed by the company since January 2015 and has been the restaurant’s general manager since January 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile. Evans denied allegations of the incident in an interview with Fox 11 News.