Jabari Osiah Merritt. Courtesy photo

On March 28, 2022, at approximately 9:50 p.m., Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) Officers responded to investigate a robbery that occurred at the 76 Gas Station (1776 Cloverfield). Officers met with the victim who told them that he was pumping gas when a male approached him, threatened him with violence while demanding his car. The suspect then went into the victim’s vehicle, however, was unable to start it because the key was not in the ignition. The suspect then grabbed the victim’s cellular phone and fled. The victim provided SMPD Officers with the description of the suspect.

At approximately 10:05 p.m., Police Dispatch received a call of an unrelated robbery that just occurred in the parking lot of the Ralphs Market (1644 Cloverfield Blvd). Officers met with the victim who told them that she was seated in her vehicle when a man opened her car door, threated her with violence, before grabbing her and attempting to forcibly remove her from the car. During the struggle, he ripped the victim’s cellular phone out of her hand and fled. The suspect in this incident matched the description of the suspect in the first incident.

An SMPD Officer observed a male matching the suspect’s description in the area of 21st St. and Pennsylvania Ave. When the male saw police, he jumped over a fence onto the embankment of the westbound I10 Freeway. A perimeter was quickly established and the male, identified as Jabari Osiah Merritt, a 22-year-old male experiencing homelessness, was taken into custody by assisting officers. The victims on both incidents identified Merritt as the male that robbed them. SMPD Officers located the stolen cellular phones abandoned in the embankment.

Merritt was booked for Robbery, Attempt Carjacking and Resist/Obstruct/Delay Arrest.

Anyone with any additional information pertaining to this incident is strongly encouraged to contact Detective Pollnow at 310-458-8455 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8426.

Submitted by Lieutenant Rudy Flores