SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — A reward of $5,000 is being offered for information about three suspects responsible for setting fire to a popular Japanese restaurant in Santa Monica.

The Sake House by Hikari, at 401 Santa Monica Blvd., was one of several restaurants and stores that was looted during protests in Santa Monica on May 31.

Crowds in Santa Monica started out as a protest decrying the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He died shortly after a Minneapolis police officer was recorded holding his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

According to reports, an apparently organized group took advantage of the protest to loot stores and restaurants along the Third Street Promenade and elsewhere in downtown Santa Monica, while police in riot gear guarded the Santa Monica Place mall. A fire set at the Sake House completely engulfed the restaurant in flames.

The Santa Monica Police Department and the ATF distributed the images of two young males and a female, asking for the public’s help in identifying them. The plea for public help came with an offer of a $5,000 reward for information.

One of the males wore a dark-colored bomber-style jacket with tape around the arm patches, a white handkerchief around his neck and was photographed carrying two iMac computer boxes. A second male wore a blue face mask, green pants and a dark blue hoodie. The female wore a black face mask, a black, long-sleeved shirt, black and green leggings and white sneakers.

Anyone with information about these suspects can call Santa Monica police Detective D. Chabot at (310) 458-2201 ext. 6679 or Sgt. C. Green at (310) 458-8414.


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