On Aug. 17 at approximately 6:26 p.m. officers were dispatched to the area of 21st Street and Broadway regarding a vandalism investigation.

The caller stated a Hispanic man wearing a light-colored shirt and black pants had ripped the Cadillac emblem off a car and was last seen walking eastbound on Broadway. Responding officers saw a person matching that description in the area of 23rd Street and Broadway and stopped him.

The suspect was carrying a red and white guitar and two women’s purses. The Cadillac hood ornament was located in one of the bags as well as feminine hygiene products. The suspect could not explain why he was in possession of the ornament. The other bag had a USC folder and miscellaneous high school paperwork. The suspect could not explain why he was in possession of either purse nor was there anything that led officers to believe they were his. The witnesses to the Cadillac emblem theft identified the suspect in the field.

While investigating this crime, officers responded to a petty theft in the 400 block of Arizona where a red and white guitar was stolen. The guitar reported stolen fit the description of the guitar the suspect had in his possession. He was arrested and transported to the Santa Monica jail. Johnny Mercado Jr., 25, was denied bail.

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.