Police Seek Couple Suspected of Kidnapping, Robbery

Police asked for the public's help to find a couple suspected of participating in the armed kidnapping and robbery five people staying at a Santa Monica hotel earlier this year.

Sergio Raul Gutierrez, 26, of Oxnard and Melissa Lizeth Castillo Gomez, 23, of Los Angeles were wanted on several felony charges, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. Warrants for their arrests have been issued, with bail set at $2.3 million.

The charges stem from an April 21 incident. Police were called to the Seaview Motel at 1760 Ocean Avenue and arrived to see several people running away.

Four suspects were arrested - and four guns were recovered. As many as four others got away, allegedly including Gutierrez and Gomez. Police gave few details about the kidnapping and robbery allegations.

"Detectives have run out of leads and every time they thought they caught up, they get away one more time," said Sgt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department.

He said the crime did not appear to be random.

"This was probably a revenge crime," he said. "They blamed these victims because they were introduced to other people who ripped them off. They blamed them for that crime so they wanted to get their money back from these victims."

Anyone with information can contact Detective Chad Goodwin at (310) 458-8942; Sergeant Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.

Anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org. If the information leads to an arrest, the tipster is eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000.00.

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