SANTA MONICA—On Friday, April 12, Lt. Erika Aklufi informed Canyon News via email that several arrests were made in connection to a series of organized retail thefts.

The SMPD reported on March 23, before 4 a.m., six suspects armed with sledgehammers broke through the front window of the Ulta Beauty store located at 1234 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. The suspects, all wearing hoodies and face masks, used the sledgehammers to break open glass display cases containing high end fragrances, stealing over $23,000 in merchandise.

The suspects fled the location in two dark-colored vehicles. Following an exhaustive and thorough investigation, the suspects were tracked to a location in South Los Angeles and identified.

On April 11, SMPD detectives working in collaboration with the LAPD Organized Retail Crime Task Force served a search warrant in the 1200 block of 90th Place in Los Angeles. The warrant was served by a team comprised of SMPD SWAT, UAS, Patrol, Criminal Investigations Division personnel, and LAPD’s ORCTF.

The team recovered two firearms and merchandise from the ULTA burglary. Three individuals associated with the burglary were arrested and transported to the Santa Monica jail for booking. Based on evidence recovered during the warrant, detectives believe the individuals who burglarized the Santa Monica ULTA store are part of a larger organized retail theft crime ring that may have gang connections.

In custody for burglary (459 PC):

-Caleed Jamari Mouton, 24– Prior arrests for gun possession and domestic violence
-Christine Eelayia Walker, 21– No prior arrests (no booking photo available)
-Mekhai Taveon Ray, 22– Prior arrests for robbery

All of the suspects were released from custody with citations per the Los Angeles County bail schedule. Detectives are confident the other three individuals responsible for the ULTA burglary will be arrested soon.