Santa Monica police arrested a 17-year-old male in Oxnard Friday, September 28th, in connection with the sexual assault of a Santa Monica woman at her home earlier that day, police said.
The suspect allegedly sexually assaulted the 42-year-old woman at knifepoint after she found him ransacking her condo in the 1100 block of Princeton Street in Santa Monica, police said.
The suspect remained in the woman’s home for four hours before taking her ATM card and other property and driving away in her Mercedes-Benz, Santa Monica police Lt. Alex Padilla alleged.
The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment and has been released.
With the assistance of the Oxnard Police Department, Santa Monica police located the suspect in Oxnard and arrested him as he was allegedly driving the victim’s vehicle at 4 p.m. September 28th on La Costa Avenue.
The suspect, identified as Luis Mario Lopez of Oxnard, was taken to Santa Monica Jail, where he was booked with burglary, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and grand theft auto, Padilla said.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the suspect will be charged as an adult, Padilla said.
Padilla said police believe that the suspect targeted the woman after she recently hired him as part of a contracting crew to perform work at her home.
“We believe that this is an isolated incident and that the suspect targeted this victim,” Padilla said. “This was not a random act.”
Lopez had entered the woman’s residence through a “doggie door” and when she arrived home at about 10 p.m. Thursday, September 27th, he immediately confronted her with a knife, police allege.
He then allegedly tied the victim up and sexually assaulted her, Padilla said. Before driving off in the woman’s vehicle at about 2:10 a.m., the suspect allegedly stole the woman’s ATM card and other property, including money and jewelry, he said.
After the suspect left, the woman was able to untie herself and ran to a neighbor’s house, where she called police.
During the investigation, Santa Monica police found that someone had tried to use the woman’s ATM card in Oxnard later that day, Padilla said.
Santa Monica detectives notified police in Oxnard and with the assistance of the Oxnard Police Department, were able to locate the suspect.
Police found evidence in the woman’s vehicle and the suspect’s Oxnard residence that allegedly connected him to the sexual assault, Padilla said.