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Armed Robbery, Attempted Carjacking at Beach Tuesday Night
By Jorge Casuso
April 5, 2023 -- Four suspects were arrested for armed robbery and two wanted for an attempted carjacking remain at large in two separate incidents at Santa Monica Beach Tuesday night.
The attempted carjacking was reported by the victim at around 8:30 p.m after flagging down officers in front of the police station, said Lt. Erika Aklufi, a Police Department spokesperson.
"The victim reported that he was in his vehicle in Beach Lot 4 South (2030 Ocean Avenue) when two suspects, both male Hispanics wearing masks, approached the car," Aklufi said.
One of the suspects "pointed a gun at the victim and ordered him out of the car," she said. "After the victim refused to surrender his car," the suspect shot one round at the car, striking a pillar.
The suspects fled on foot southbound, and the victim "drove around for a few minutes before driving to the police station."
Responding officers recovered a single shell casing in the parking lot and were investigating when they saw the LAPD helicopter circling over Venice.
Realizing LAPD was working a crime scene, Santa Monica Dispatch called and learned a carjacking had taken place, Aklufi said.
Descriptions of the Venice suspects were consistent with those wanted for the attempted carjacking in Santa Monica, she said.
The suspects remain at large, police said. SMPD detectives are working with their LAPD counterparts to determine if the two crimes are related.
At around 11 p.m. that night two victims, a male and female, were robbed at knife point on the Santa Monica Pier, according to police.
"The suspects, all males, two of them juveniles, took the female victim’s purse and fled eastbound up the Pier ramp," Aklufi said.
Responding officers tracked the victim’s cellphone to Tongva Park across from City Hall, where officers "immediately established a perimeter around the park."
Two of the suspects were taken into custody as they attempted to exit the perimeter, Aklufi said.
"A third suspect, who had already made it outside of the perimeter, was taken into custody when he was observed loitering nearby," Aklufi said. "The fourth suspect was observed hiding in the western edge of the park."
Additional evidence from the crime was located in the park and on the suspects, and all four suspects were positively identified by the victims and taken into custody, she said.
Anyone with information about either of these crimes should call the Police Department's non-emergency Dispatch line at 310-458-8491 or the Watch Commander at 310-458-8427.
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