By Lookout Staff
July 11 -- A suspect wanted for nearly a dozen robberies
of booth attendants at Downtown public parking structures
over the past year was arrested Sunday night fleeing the scene
of his latest crime, according to police.
The suspect -- identified as Juan Carlos Hernandez, 31, of
Los Angeles -- robbed attendants at two public parking structures
at around 11 p.m. before he was apprehended after fleeing
down a stairwell, police said.
The undercover officers, who were assisted by uniformed patrol
officers, were monitoring the parking structures in search
of a suspected wanted in connection with several recent armed
robberies of the parking booth attendants, said Lt. Alex Padilla,
the Police Department spokesman.
The suspect already had been captured on public video cameras
placed throughout the Downtown structures as part of the City’s
overall safety plan, police said.
“A review of the video images from one of these public
video cameras resulted in the observation of the wanted robbery
suspect,” Padilla said.
A suspect matching the images captured on video was seen
Sunday night walking out of Parking Structure #6, 1451 2nd
Street, and the patrol officers were informed, police said.
“The parking booth attendant was contacted and confirmed
that he had just been robbed,” Padilla said. “The
suspect used a knife and had taken $20.”
A few minutes later, officers patrolling the area on foot
saw the suspect walking away from the area of the parking
booth in Parking Structure #2, 1235 2nd Street, police said.
“As the officers followed the suspect, he quickly ran
down a nearby stairwell,” Padilla said. “The parking
booth attendant yelled out to the officers that she had just
“The suspect used a tire iron to take $122 from the
attendant,” he said. “This robbery was also captured
on the public video camera.”
On the ground floor, officers apprehended the suspect, who
was positively identified by witnesses, Padilla said. Police
recovered the knife and tire iron, along with the stolen money.
This suspect is believed to be responsible for a string of
11 armed robberies of the parking booth attendants that date
back to July 23, 2006.
In some of these robberies, the suspect was armed with a
knife, screwdriver, tire iron, or handgun.
The suspect also is responsible for the burglary of a parking
booth, taking money when the attendant stepped away.
The case has been filed with the District Attorney, and Hernandez
has been charged with ten counts of robbery and one count
Hernandez is being detained at the Santa Monica Jail. Bail
has been set at $50,000. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call
the Santa Monica Police Department at 310.458.8427 (24 hours)
or call Detectives at 310.458.8451 Monday through Friday from
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline
at 1-800-78-CRIME (72463).