SANTA MONICA─Two suspects were arrested on Thursday, July 2 for looting REI and VANS stores in Santa Monica on May 31.
Sebastian Martinez, 24, and Christopher Gutierrez, 19, were stopped by the Manhattan Beach Police Department and arrested by the Santa Monica Police Department after detectives spent weeks investigating the case, searching the surveillance footage and social media videos and seeking help from the public.
“A suspect vehicle was identified by searching social media videos of the civil unrest. It showed a vehicle license plate with two suspects loading various items from REI. After reviewing the REI security video, the two subjects were identified inside the store removing thousands of dollars of merchandise,” said the Santa Monica Police Department in a statement.
The Manhattan Beach Police Department notified the Santa Monica Police Department after recognizing the car’s license plate which was caught on the social media videos and stopping the suspects.
The Santa Monica Police Department mentioned that “a search of the suspect vehicle pursuant to a search warrant led to the recovery of several stolen items from both the REI and the VANS store.”
Both suspects were apprehended for looting and burglary, while Gutierrez was also identified as the suspect of an assault on a police officer. Martinez was cited out and Gutierrez is in custody.