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Two Suspects Arrested in Santa Monica Looting Spree

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

July 7, 2020 -- Two suspects have been arrested for looting the VANS and REI stores during a violent wave of crime that swept through Downtown Santa Monica on May 31.

Sebastian Martinez, 24, of El Segundo, and Christopher Gutierrez, 19, who is homeless were arrested by Santa Monica police after detectives identified the getaway vehicle on social media.

Looting suspects inside store
Looting suspects inside store (Courtesy SMPD)

Martinez was arrested for looting and burglary and released due to COVID-19 policies. Gutierrez was arrested for looting and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and remains in custody.

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SMPD detectives "scoured hours of security video and social media posts" taken while the two stores were ransacked by looters, said Lt. Joseph Cortez, the Police Department spokesman.

One social media video showed the license plate of a vehicle two suspects were loading with items from REI, Cortez said.

Looting suspects loading goods

"After reviewing REI security video, the two subjects were identified inside the store removing thousands of dollars of merchandise," he said.

During the investigation Gurierrez was also identified as the suspect of an assault on a police officer.

The Manhattan Beach Police Department stopped the wanted vehicle and notified Santa Monica Police Department Detectives, Cortez said.

"The occupants of the vehicle were determined to be the two outstanding suspects and were subsequently arrested," he said.

Police obtained a search warrant and a search of the vehicle "led to the recovery of several stolen items from both the REI and the VANS store," Cortez said.

Those with information on the crime should call Detective Buus or Detective Burciaga at (310) 458-8491.

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