A man wanted in connection with a string of 11 armed robberies of parking booth attendants and the burglary of a parking booth in Santa Monica was arrested by Santa Monica police Sunday, July 8th, police said.
The incidents date back to July last year, and in some cases, the suspect was allegedly armed with a knife, a screwdriver, a tire iron or a handgun, Santa Monica police Lt. Alex Padilla said.
Police arrested Juan Carlos Hernandez, 31, of Los Angeles, after they were monitoring parking structures in the downtown area.
Undercover officers, with the assistance of uniformed patrol officers, were monitoring the structures at about 11 p.m. July 8th, and looking for a suspect wanted in connection with several recent armed robberies of parking booth attendants, Padilla said.
In the aftermath of the series of robberies, police reviewed video images from one of the public video cameras installed as part of the city’s overall safety plan and saw the suspect wanted for the crimes.
The suspect was seen walking out of a parking structure in the 1400 block of Second Street and officers in the area were notified.
A parking booth attendant at the structure told police that he had just been robbed by a suspect who allegedly used a knife and stole $20, Padilla said.
A few minutes later, officers patrolling the area on foot saw the suspect walking away from a parking booth in another parking structure in the 1200 block of Second Street, Padilla said.
As the officers followed the suspect, he quickly ran down a nearby stairwell, and a parking booth attendant told the officers that she had just been robbed, he said.
The suspect had allegedly used a tire iron to steal $122 from the attendant, an incident that was also captured on the public video camera, Padilla said.
Officers apprehended the suspect on the ground floor of the parking structure and he was positively identified by witnesses.
A knife and tire iron were recovered along with the stolen money, Padilla said.
Hernandez is being detained at the Santa Monica Jail and his bail has been set at $50,000, Padilla said. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8427 or detectives at (310) 458-8451.
Callers who wish to remain anonymous may also call the We-Tip hotline at (800) 782-7463 (800-78-CRIME).