Santa Monica Police Officers have arrested a suspect in connection with a string of residential burglaries.

Kenneth Whitfield, 35 of Palmdale, was arrested at about 4 a.m. Saturday morning and while an officer fired one shot during the arrest, no-one was injured during the incident.

According to Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez, officers were patrolling the northeast area of the city when they saw a man wearing dark clothing lurking near 23rd and Carlyle.

Officers saw Whitfield attempting to open car doors, looking into residential buildings and walking up and down residential driveways.

When officers approached Whitfield, one unidentified officer fired one round in response to Whitfield’s actions. Rodriguez said the investigation is ongoing and additional details about Whitfield’s actions were not immediately available.

“While working on the investigation, they did find some stolen items on his person and in vehicle close by,” said Rodriguez

Neither Whitfield nor any officers were injured and Whitfield was arrested for prowling, vehicle tampering, receiving stolen property and a probation violation.

“The incident is under investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Santa Monica Police Department,” said a statement from SMPD. “The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Response Team was notified and declined to respond. In accordance with Santa Monica Police Department Policy, a concurrent administrative investigation has been initiated.”

It’s rare for a Santa Monica officer to discharge a weapon. In response to preliminary inquiries by the Daily Press, SMPD said it could have been years since an officer fired their gun. Two Santa Monica officers and an officer from the Santa Monica College Police Department fired their weapons and killed John Zawahri in 2013 after Zawahri went on a killing spree on campus.

Rodriguez said the investigation will determine if Whitfield is responsible for other crimes in the area.

“We’re obviously looking at him to see if he’s involved in the other incidents that have occurred in that area in the past,” he said.

Rodriguez said SMPD is actively seeking help from the public and anyone with any information about crimes in the area or anyone that recognizes the suspect should contact contact Detective Larios at (310) 458-8937, Detective Michael Bambrick at (310) 458-8932, Sergeant Maury Sumlin at (310) 458-8760 or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8495.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...