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Two Homeless Suspects Arrested After Police Chase

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Santa Monicans for Change endorse Lana Negrete and Armen Melkonians for City Council

By Lookout Staff

October 24, 2022 -- Two homeless men suspected of trying to burglarize a home in Sunset Park were arrested early Sunday morning after a brief police chase, according to Santa Monica police.

The men -- one of whom was on parole -- were spotted by officers responding to a burglary alarm at a residence on the 1400 block of Hill Street that was set off shortly before 1 a.m.

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The responding officers saw a tan colored Toyota Tacoma pull out of the alley behind the home and speed off when they spotted police, said Lt. Rudy Flores, the Police Department spokesman.

The officers followed the Tacoma as it accelerated and ran a stop sign, causing officers "to initiate a vehicle pursuit," Flores said.

The Tacoma continued until it collided into a tree at the intersection of 11th Street and Ozone Avenue near Marine Park.

"The driver fled on foot and was later located and taken into custody," Flores said. "The passenger was arrested on site."

Officers learned the vehicle was stolen from the Marina Del Rey area with "cold plates," the term used for license plates taken from another vehicle, according to police.

Officers searched the vehicle and found "numerous vehicle keys and fobs (remote controls for doors and alarms), tools commonly used in the commission of burglaries, garage clickers and identifications cards," Flores said.

They also found "a crystalized substance resembling methamphetamine and other miscellaneous items."

A records check revealed the driver, Kenneth Keith Dilks, a 34-year-old homeless male, had an active No Bail Felony warrant for a probation violation.

He was arrested and booked on Grand Theft Auto, conspiracy, possession of burglary tools and methamphetamine, obstructing arrest, evading police and having a warrant.

Kenneth Dilks
Jamie Smart
(From left) Kenneth Dilks, Jamie Amrat (Courtesy SMPD)

The passenger, Jamie Wayne Smart, a 44-year-old homeless male, was arrested and booked for Grand Theft Auto, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools.

Anyone with additional information on Sunday's incident should call Detective Zamfirov at 310-458-8398 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8426.

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