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Four Teens Arrested for Attempting to Burglarize Store


Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

February 13, 2024 -- Four teenage suspects were arrested early Friday morning after trying to break into The Real Real Store that was the target of a smash-and grab robbery in November.

Santa Monica police officers responded at 2:20 a.m. to the luxury resale store on the 200 block of 26th Street in the northwest corner of the city near Brentwood, according to police.

Several suspects "were observed on security cameras attempting to force entry into the store via the front and rear doors," said Lt. Erika Aklufi, the Police Department spokesperson.

"The first officers on scene observed the suspects fleeing the area and a foot pursuit ensued" leading to the apprehension of three of the suspects nearby, Aklufi said.

The officers established a perimeter and with the help of K9 officers and air support from LAPD, took two more suspects into custody.

Four of the suspects -- three 18-year-old males from Los Angeles and a 19-year-old male from Carson -- were booked for attempted burglary and resisting arrest.

They are Ryan Sims, Julio Mendoza and Isaiah Lloyd of Los Angeles and Mikel Nicholson of Carson.

The arrests come two and a half months after four masked suspects made off with more than $50,000 worth of brand-name purses in a smash-and-grab style robbery at the store on November 27.

The suspects entered the store shortly before 11 a.m. and used hammers to smash multiple display cases, before fleeing the scene in a waiting vehicle, according to police.("Suspects Wanted in Smash-and-Grab Retail Robbery," December 5, 2023).

The case was being investigated by LA County's Organized Retail Crime Taskforce that "combines resources from various agencies to investigate and prosecute the organized retail theft rings that are frequently behind these crimes," police said.

The taskforce was formed last August amid a wave of rampant retail crimes that has forced stores in California to shutter or lock down items, a trend reflected in cities and states that have implemented criminal justice reforms.

A statewide rise in retail crime followed the 2014 approval by California voters of Prop 47, which re-categorized some nonviolent felonies as misdemeanors, including all thefts under $950.

A proposed measure to reform Prop 47 that will toughen penalties for drug and theft crimes is likely headed for the November ballot ("Brock Endorses State Measure to Increase Drug and Theft Penalties," February 12, 2024).

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