SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — Two men have been arrested in connection with looting at REI and Vans stores in Santa Monica after protests turned violent.
Sebastian Martinez, 24, of El Segundo, and 20-year-old Christopher Gutierrez, of Los Angeles, were arrested last Thursday after being stopped by Manhattan Beach police officers, Santa Monica police spokesman Lt. Joseph Cortez said.READ MORE: 'Supercharge' Storm Set To Bring Heavy Rainfall To Southland
The REI and Vans stores in Santa Monica were both ransacked on May 31 when protests turned to looting, vandalism and arson. Security video showed two men – one in a white, blue, green and pink Nike jacket, the other in burgundy hoodie and red baseball cap – at both stores, removing thousands of dollars of merchandise and later loading them into a car.READ MORE: Residents Around Alisal Fire Burn Area In Santa Barbara County Ordered To Evacuate As Storm Arrives
That car’s license plate was caught on video by an outside surveillance camera.
The vehicle seen outside the looted stores was stopped by Manhattan Beach police and the two men inside – later identified as Martinez and Gutierrez – were determined to be two of the suspects wanted for looting in Santa Monica.MORE NEWS: Atmospheric River Drenches Northern California With Historic Rainfall
Both men were arrested on suspicion of looting, while Gutierrez was also identified in the assault of a police officer. Gutierrez is in custody on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday. Martinez was cited out due to COVID-19, according to Santa Monica police.