SANTA MONICA — On May 31, the REI and Vans stores in Santa Monica were severely damaged as a result of the looting that took place in the city. Two individuals were identified as outstanding suspects in the investigation and were subsequently arrested.

The two suspects in the store during the looting.

The first suspect was identified at Sebastian Martinez, a 24-year-old male from El Segundo, California. Martinez was cited out due to coronavirus for 463(a)PC (looting) and 459PC (burglary).

The second suspect was identified as Christopher Gutierrez, a 19-year-old male from Los Angeles. He is currently in police custody and was arrested for 245PC (assault with a deadly weapon) and 463(a)PC (looting). 

One of the suspects.

Detectives and the Santa Monica Police Department were able to identify the two suspects by searching security videos and social media videos from the civil unrest that occurred in the city.

A suspect vehicle was identified with evidence showing the two suspects loading the vehicle with many items from REI. REI security videos also depicted two suspects removing thousands of dollars of merchandise from the store. 

Suspect with the merchandise.

The Santa Monica Police Department was notified that the Manhattan Beach Police Department had stopped the wanted vehicle. The two suspects were in the vehicle and were arrested. The investigation identified one of the subjects as a suspect for assaulting a police officer.

Once the police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, they were able to recover the stolen items from the REI and VANS stores.

Any information related to this crime can be directed to Detective Buus or Detective Burciaga at (310) 458-8491.

The two suspects leaving the store and putting the merchandise in the suspected vehicle.