On Feb. 17 at about 3:49 p.m., Santa Monica police officers assigned to patrol the Third Street Promenade received a radio call of a shoplifting suspect in custody at Bloomingdale’s.
A loss prevention agent at the store was conducting routine surveillance of the store via closed circuit television when she observed the suspect, later identified as Elias Rodriguez, walking through the men’s department on level one.
Rodriguez removed a white, long-sleeved shirt from a hanger and concealed it under his shorts. The loss prevention officer alerted her colleagues of the suspect’s behavior and arranged for Rodriguez to be detained should he attempt to leave the store without paying for the shirt.
When Rodriguez passed several open cash registers and walked outside of the store with the secreted shirt, he was stopped by security and escorted to the security office. The SMPD officer accepted the private person’s arrest for shoplifting.
During a search incident to arrest, officers located a methamphetamine pipe and several unopened pieces of mail addressed to someone other than Rodriguez.
He was transported to the Santa Monica jail and booked for shoplifting, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of stolen property. The U.S. Postal Service Inspector’s office was notified.
Rodriguez, 31, refused to provide an address. Bail was set at $5,000.
Note: Crime Watch is 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.