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, Aug. 14, at 3:25 p.m.,
Santa Monica police officers responded to the 500 block of Ocean Avenue regarding a report of an assault that just occurred. When officers arrived, they made contact with the victim, who was being treated by Santa Monica Fire Department paramedics for a large laceration to his head. The victim, a security guard for a business on Ocean Avenue, told police that he arrived for work by bus earlier than usual and decided to take a walk in Palisades Park before starting his shift. While in the park, he said that he was surrounded by three guys and a woman who tried to take his backpack. When he resisted, the woman allegedly handed an empty rum bottle to one of men, who hit the victim over the heard with it, causing the laceration. As the four ran away — without the backpack — the victim said he heard them yell “White Power.” The suspects were said to be Caucasian. The victim is Hispanic. Officers detained the female suspect and the empty bottle she was carrying. The three male suspects were not located. The woman was booked for attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, and allegedly committing a hate crime. She was identified as Valerie Elizabeth Zaragoza, 28, of Bakersfield, Calif.
Saturday, Aug. 13, at 11:51 p.m.,
Officers responded to the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Stanford Street in response to reports of a strong arm robbery that just occurred. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim who said that earlier that night he met a woman at a local bar who invited him back to her motel to have sex in exchange for money. After 90 minutes inside the room, the victim left to go home when he was confronted by a suspect who demanded his money. The victim shook off the suspect, but they met again in the street. The suspect again asked for the victim’s money, which the victim proceeded to give him. Then, the victim called the police. When officers arrived on the scene and were interviewing the victim, the suspect emerged from the motel and was subsequently detained after trying to run away. The suspect said he acted as security for the female, and only collected money from the victim after she said she was not paid for her companionship. The female suspect was also detained after she tried to flee the motel. Both suspects were placed under arrest and transported to the Santa Monica Jail where they were booked for robbery. The investigation is ongoing. The male suspect is Marquin Garrison, 40, of Moreno Valley, Calif., and the female suspect is Minako St. Mary, 42, of Los Angeles. Their bails were set at $50,000 and $20,000, respectively.
Saturday, Aug. 13, at 8:50 p.m.,
Officers with the Crime Impact Team were conducting a surveillance operation in the 1000 block of Ashland Avenue when they heard a noise come from behind them. The officers, who were in full uniform, illuminated the area and saw a male suspect trying to force open an apartment window. Upon discovery, the suspect fled to an adjoining backyard, trapping himself. The suspect was detained without incident, but allegedly provided false statements to the officers and was ultimately arrested for burglary. The suspect was transported to the Santa Monica Jail and was identified as Raul Rodriguez, 34, of Santa Monica. His bail was set at $50,000.
Thursday, Aug. 11, at 5:47 p.m.,
Officers arrived at the 2600 block of the beach in response to lifeguards reporting that they were detaining a suspect for stealing a cell phone. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the lifeguard who saw the suspect walk up to a blanket and purse on the beach and begin looking through the property, and placing several items from inside the purse in his pocket. The victims, tourists from Canada, had seen the suspect stealing from them after exiting the water. With the help of the lifeguard, the suspect was detained and the property, a cell phone and camera, was recovered when officers arrived. The victims did not wish to pursue prosecution, as they would not be in the county for court and their property was returned. The suspect was also found to be in possession of a cell phone that was stolen from another lifeguard earlier in the day. The suspect was arrested for receiving stolen property and transported to Santa Monica Jail. The suspect, Roy Wayne Elder, 46, of Santa Monica, had his bail set at $60,000.
Thursday, Aug. 11, at 2:04 a.m.,
Officers arrived at the 1900 block of Delaware Avenue in response to a report of vandalism on the street and someone being chased from the area. Upon arrival, officers noted a burgundy Honda with all its windows smashed out. Officers contacted the victims, two sisters who had gotten into an argument with the suspect at a party that they had thrown earlier. The victims said they pepper sprayed the suspect, who then ran home. The suspect allegedly returned and used a baseball bat to break the windows of the victims’ vehicle. Officers contacted the suspect who confirmed much of the incident and provided the police with the baseball bat allegedly used. The suspect, Joey Bravo, 18, of Santa Monica, was transported to Santa Monica Jail and booked for vandalism. His bail was set at $20,000.
Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 12:33 a.m.,
Officers responded to the corner of Colorado and Ocean avenues after receiving a report of Lowe’s Hotel personnel chasing a burglary suspect. Officers detained a suspect matching the description they had been given and detained him. When an officer contacted the victims, they explained that they were asleep in their hotel room when the victim awoke screaming at the sight of a male standing over her suitcase. Her husband awoke and chased the suspect from the room. Hotel security pursued the suspect as he fled the location until police detained him. The suspect was arrested for burglary. Ronald Ray Thomas, 61, of Los Angeles, was transported to Santa Monica Jail and his bail was set at $20,000.
Editor-in-Chief Kevin Herrera compiled these reports.