Arson / Grand Theft Auto Suspect Arrest

On February 23, 2021 at about 2:15 p.m., officers from the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) responded to area of 23rd and Dewey regarding a male trying to set a vehicle on fire. Details of the call indicated the male was attempting to light an item stuffed in the gas tank of the reporting party’s vehicle. Officers arrived on scene and were directed to the subject, later identified as Alex Omar Aguirre, a 28-year-old Hispanic male from Los Angeles.

Officers could see Aguirre leaning into the car window of a separate vehicle, rummaging through the contents of that car. Officers noticed that vehicle had smoke emitting from the inside compartment and immediately summoned for the Santa Monica Fire Department. Officers detained Aguirre and spoke with the victim to ascertain the details of this incident, while Fire personnel extinguished the burning vehicle.

The reporting party told officers that he saw Aguirre trying to pick the lock of his vehicle before he confronted him. He also noticed that there was a burning rag stuffed into the filler of the gas tank. He was able to extinguish the fire before calling 9-1-1. The victim watched as the suspect attempted to flee in the vehicle, he eventually ignited, however it appeared Aguirre was having trouble starting that car. Aguirre then exited the vehicle before being detained by officers.

Aguirre was placed under arrest and was transported to the Santa Monica Police Department, where officers discovered he was on parole. Officers also learned that the second vehicle Aguirre set on fire was an unreported stolen car from Los Angeles. Aguirre was booked for Attempt Burglary – 664/459 P.C., Arson – 452(d) P.C., Grand Theft Auto 487(D) P.C. and Parole Violation 3056 P.C.

Anyone with any information related to this incident is encouraged to contact Detective David Chabot from Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-6679 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

Submitted by Lieutenant Rudy Flores