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Two Arrested for Theft Spree at Local Gas Stations


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By Lookout Staff

April 29, 2024 -- Two men from the San Francisco Bay area were charged Friday with stealing property from cars at three Santa Monica gas stations last week.

The suspects -- who were driving a dark colored Nissan Altima -- targeted a vehicle at each of the three gas stations in little more than a half hour Wednesday, police officials said.
Agustin Vega

The first incident took place at 12:24 p.m. when the car with three occupants pulled into the Chevron at 1344 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The driver "stopped next to the open car door of a vehicle getting gas" and "one of the suspects took the victim’s purse from the front seat," said Lt. Erika Aklufi, the Police Department spokesperson.

Four minutes later, the same car "pulled into the Sinclair gas station at 1944 Pico Boulevard and stopped in front of the second victim’s vehicle at the pumps," Aklufi said.

"The rear passenger in the Altima opened the victim’s car door, took the victim’s purse and fled with the other suspects," she said.

At around 1 p.m., the same suspects "shattered the window of a vehicle parked at the Shell station at 1866 Lincoln Boulevard and stole a laptop, iPad and other property," Aklufi said.

Raul Santino Lopez

The suspects -- Raul Santino Lopez, 20, and Agustin Jesus Vega, 21, of Richmond, California -- were tracked and arrested with the assistance of the Hawthorne Police Department, officials said.

"Officers recovered several hundred dollars and most of the victims’ property," Aklufi said.

On Friday,the LA County District Attorney’s office filed felony burglary and grand theft charges against the two suspects.

Neither has "a significant arrest history in California," Aklufi said.

Anyone with information related to this incident or these individuals should email Detective Tavera at or call the Watch Commander 24 hours at 310-458-8427.

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