3 Suspects Arrested in Retail Theft With Sledgehammers in Santa Monica

3 Suspects Arrested in Retail Theft With Sledgehammers in Santa Monica

A police car is seen in Santa Monica, Calif., in a file photo. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

4/14/2024

Updated: 4/14/2024

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SANTA MONICA, Calif.—Two men and a woman were taken into custody for allegedly stealing more than $23,000 in merchandise during an organized retail theft in Southern California, police said April 12.
The robbery was reported around 4 a.m. March 23 at an Ulta beauty store in the 1200 block of Wilshire Boulevard, according to Santa Monica Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Erika Aklufi.
The suspects, six in total, were all wearing face masks and allegedly used sledgehammers to destroy several glass display cases that contained high-end perfumes, stealing more than $23,000 in merchandise before fleeing the area in two dark-colored vehicles.
“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,” Ms. Aklufi said in a statement.
SMPD detectives, with the assistance of LAPD Organized Retail Crime Taskforce personnel, executed a search warrant Thursday in the 1200 block of 90th Place in Los Angeles and arrested and booked 24-year-old Jamari Caleed Mouton, 21-year-old Christine Eelayia Walker and 22-year-old Taveon Mekhai Ray on suspicion of burglary, police said.
The arrested individuals were then released from custody with citations as per the L.A. County bail schedule, Ms. Aklufi said.
Detectives were working to locate and arrest three additional suspects involved in the Santa Monica retail burglary. Anyone with information regarding the retail theft can contact the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-395-9951 or email police@santamonica.gov.
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