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.

Sunday, May 8, at 9:13 a.m.,

Santa Monica police officers responded to a pilates studio located on the 1200 block of Second Street regarding a man allegedly exposing himself to women working out. When officers arrived, they made contact with the victims who said the suspect, who was detained nearby without incident, walked into a courtyard and watched them workout through a window. While there, he allegedly squatted and shoved his hands down his pants and left them there for several minutes. He left and returned a short time later, this time though allegedly pulling out his penis and masturbating in front of the victims, who called police. The suspect was booked for indecent exposure. During the booking process, officers learned that the suspect was a wanted parolee out of Orange County who failed to register as a sex offender. The suspect was recently released from prison and fled after removing an ankle monitor, police said. He was identified as John Cole, 54, of Santa Ana. He was held on a $1 million warrant.

Tuesday, May 3, at 2:13 a.m.,

Officers were on routine patrol in the 2500 block of the beach bike path when they saw a man pushing a Ralph’s shopping cart full of his personal belongings. Officers believed the suspect was in possession of a stolen shopping cart and made contact with him. During their discussion with the suspect, officers learned that he was in possession of several IDs and credit cards/debit cards that did not belong to him. He was also in possession of someone else’s cell phone and stolen property from a vehicle burglary, police said. Officers placed the suspect under arrest for theft and possession of stolen and lost property. He was identified as James Anthony Moore, 50, a transient. His bail was set at $20,000.

Tuesday, May 3, at 10:32 p.m.,

Officers were on routine patrol in the area of Bay Street and Ocean Way when they saw a silver Dodge Stratus parked illegally in a red zone. As officers approached, a man standing outside the car walked away. Officers made contact with the driver. As they were speaking to him, the man standing outside the car returned. Officers said he had a knife clipped to his pants. They detained him, searched him and confiscated the knife as well as several rounds of handgun ammunition. At that time, several people inside the car started to shout at the officers, telling them that they needed to “go out and find real criminals,” police said. Officers felt the people were under the influence of alcohol or drugs and searched the car. They said they found a handgun on the floorboard where one of the suspects was sitting. Cops also said they found methamphetamines on one of the men. All five suspects were transported to the Santa Monica Jail where they were booked. Martin Cruz-Velasquez, 19, of Los Angeles was booked for possession of a firearm by a gang member. His bail was set at $35,000. Rene Baires, 26, of Los Angeles was booked for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in a vehicle. His bail was set at $35,000. Tyrone Verdell, 42, of Montebello, was booked for possession of a firearm. His bail too was set at $35,000. Victor Avila, 24, of Los Angeles, was booked for possession of a firearm, meth and bringing a controlled substance into a jail. His bail was set at $35,000. The fifth suspect was described as a 16-year-old male who was booked for possession of a firearm. He was later released to his parents with a promise to appear in court.

Wednesday, May 4, at 1:20 p.m.,

Officers served a search warrant on a suspect under investigation for dealing drugs. The suspect, a member of a local street gang, was stopped after he left his home, police said. Officers went to the suspect’s home and allegedly recovered 2.5 ounces of meth, cocaine and multiple prescription drugs, along with other evidence indicating narcotics sales. The suspect was placed under arrest and booked for possession with the intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance, participation in a criminal street gang and a probation violation. The suspect was identified as Hector Castillo, 30, of Santa Monica. No bail was set.

Wednesday, May 4, at 6:36 p.m.,

Officers on routine patrol received a report of a stolen vehicle in the area of Fourth Street and Olympic Drive. Officers were notified that the car’s LoJack system had been activated and that the vehicle was stolen out of the LAPD’s Devonshire Division. They tracked the vehicle to the 1300 block of Psomas Way near the Penmar Golf Course. Officers detained two suspects at the scene and they were booked for grand theft auto. Police said the registered owner of the car filed a stolen vehicle report after his daughter and her boyfriend, who had priors for auto theft, took the car and refused to return it. The suspects were identified as Jacob Andrew Lara, 19, of Los Angeles, and Alexis Maldonado, 20, of Granda Hills. Lara was held on a felony probation violation. Maldonado’s bail was set at $25,000.

Thursday, May 5, at 12:50 p.m.

Members of the SWAT team, along with detectives, served a search warrant and arrested a suspect wanted in connection with an armed robbery that occurred in April. Police said the two victims were walking on Marguerita Avenue near Ocean Avenue when they were approached by two men, one armed with a handgun. The suspects demanded their property and told them not call police. The suspects then fled on foot. Detectives were able to identify a vehicle used in the robbery and tracked down one of the suspects, who was later identified by the victims. When officers searched the suspect’s home, they said they found a handgun, ammunition and over 100 grams of meth. The suspect, identified as Erik Cadena, 20, of Los Angeles, was booked for robbery and a parole violation. No bail was set and the investigation is ongoing. Two suspects remain at large.

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