Crime Watch is a weekly series culled from reports provided by the Santa Monica Police Department. These are arrests only. All parties are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Thursday, May 28, at 3 p.m.,

Santa Monica police officers responded to the 1500 block of Wilshire Boulevard — MacMall —regarding a suspect who was allegedly trying to steal a laptop computer through the use of a bogus check. When officers arrived, they made contact with store employees who said the suspect entered the business on May 14 and attempted to purchase a 17-inch MacBook Pro laptop and a 24-inch iMac computer with a check imprinted with the name of a church. When asked if he was authorized to sign the check, the suspect allegedly said he was. Employees tried to process the check, but it was declined. When an inquiry was made as to the reason for the denial, the employees were told the business account and number on the check were valid, but the person trying to use it was not authorized to do so. At that point the suspect took the check and left the store. On May 28, a store employee noticed a colleague was assisting a customer who wanted to purchase a laptop and iPod using a check in the amount of $4,203.38. The employee recognized the customer as the same guy who tried to use the bogus check. Police were called and when the suspect saw officers, he allegedly ran out of the store and onto 15th Street, where he cut through two buildings. A perimeter was established and a search conducted. Officers said they found the suspect hiding in a trash can. Officers placed the suspect under arrest for burglary, false identification, identity theft, a bench warrant for burglary and a bench warrant for battery. He was identified as Joseph Lewis, 46, a transient. No bail was set.

Monday, May 25, at 10:35 p.m.,

Officers responded to a report of a suspicious person in the parking area of an apartment complex in the 1300 block of 26th Street. When officers arrived, they made contact with a witness who said she found the suspect kneeling near a bicycle in the parking garage when she returned home. As she reached the top of the stairs, the suspect allegedly ran. The witness ran to get her boyfriend, who said he found the suspect holding a bicycle seat in his hand on a different level of the parking garage. As he approached the suspect, the seat was dropped and the suspect attempted to run. The boyfriend gave chase and was able to detain the suspect until police arrived. Officers placed the suspect under arrest for burglary. He was identified as Armando Marquez, 31, from Los Angeles. His bail was set at $50,000.

Tuesday, May 26, at 4:15 p.m.,

Officers responded to 700 block of Broadway (Vons) regarding a shoplifting suspect in custody. When officers arrived, they made contact with store security who said they watched the suspect take several packages of sushi and some Gatorade from store displays and then exit the store, failing to pay for the items. Once outside the store, the suspect was detained by security. She was placed under citizen’s arrest and officers transported the suspect to the Santa Monica Jail, where she was booked for petty theft. The items believed stolen were valued at $23.46. The suspect was identified as Alejandra Estella Solana, 46, a transient. Her bail was set at $1,000.

Tuesday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m.,

Officers responded to a report of a car crash in the 1600 block of Arizona Avenue. When officers arrived, they found a vehicle had struck a parked car. Officers made contact with the driver who said she was dialing her cell phone while traveling westbound on Arizona and struck a parked car while traveling at approximately 15 mph. As officers spoke with the driver they observed symptoms that led them to believe she was under the influence of a controlled substance. Officers conducted a Drug Influence Evaluation and formed the opinion that she was under the influence of a controlled substance. The suspect was placed under arrest for DUI. She was identified as Amy Engle Bieber, 44, of Santa Monica. Her bail was set at $15,000.

Friday, March 6, at 1:45 a.m.,

Officers responded to the 1100 block of Ninth Street regarding a car on fire. When officers arrived, they found Santa Monica firefighters working to put out the flames from the interior of a black Dodge Magnum. After the fire was extinguished, officers found a red gas can containing a clear liquid on the passenger floorboard and a lighter approximately 10 feet from the burned vehicle. The gas can, lighter and a sample of the liquid were booked as evidence. Detectives arrested the owner of the vehicle on May 27, using statements he made, plus fingerprints found at the scene and cell phone records indicating the man was leaving the city of Santa Monica minutes after the fire. He was placed under arrest for arson and for filing a false insurance claim. The suspect was identified as Sidney Porter, 49, of Culver City. His bail was set at $50,000.

Thursday, May 28, at 4:30 a.m.,

Officers on routine patrol in the 300 block of Pico Boulevard saw two suspicious men inside an Arco gas station looking out the front window. As they made eye contact with the officers, both turned and separated and went to opposite ends of the store, police said. Officers entered the store and watched as one suspect distract the two store employees as the other wandered the aisles. Officers asked one of the employees if everything was OK. The employee allegedly told officers that he believed one of the two customers stole a beer the previous day and wanted both to leave the store. Officers made contact with the two men and asked them to conclude their business and leave the store. Once outside, the officers searched the men and recovered two packaged and sealed sandwiches, a packaged and still hot burrito and Haagen-Dazs ice cream that was still cold, police said. Officers asked the store employees if the items came from their store, to which they said yes. A review of video surveillance footage showed one suspect stuffing items into his pants, police said. Both were placed under arrest. They were identified as Timothy Kevin Poyser, 34, a transient; and Jamal Olinga White, 28, of Los Angeles. Poyser was booked for burglary, conspiracy and a bench warrant for vandalism. His bail was set at $30,000. White was booked for burglary, conspiracy, possession of marijuana and a bench warrant. His bail was set at $25,000. The items believed stolen were valued at $13.65.

Editor-in-Chief Kevin Herrera compiled these reports. news@smdp.com