On Aug. 18 at approximately 4:25 p.m., Santa Monica police officers responded to a call of a shoplifter trying to leave the Vons market at 1311 Wilshire Blvd., with various items. The employees knew the suspect because he has stolen numerous items in the past month.
When a supervisor saw the suspect enter the store, she posted an employee at each exit door to watch for him. When the suspect realized he could not exit the store without detection, he locked himself in the restroom with items he had removed from the shelves.
When officers arrived, the suspect had locked himself in the bathroom. The officers identified themselves and asked the suspect to exit the restroom. When the suspect exited, he did not have any merchandise on his person. When the market staff checked the garbage can in the restroom they found the empty bottles and wrappers from the food and drinks they had seen the suspect take off the shelves.
The suspect had no money to pay for the items he had consumed. Gabriel Lewis, 33, was arrested for commercial burglary and transported to jail. 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.