Santa Monica

Three Charged for Looting During Santa Monica Protests

Santa Monica police allege the three stole clothing, computers, backpacks, a bicycle and groceries, while one of the suspects is additionally accused of setting fire to the Sake House at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Fourth Street.

Multiple felony charges were filed Monday against three 18-year-old defendants accused of committing looting, burglary and arson crimes in Santa Monica on May 31, amid a large demonstration stemming from George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis.

Gisselle Alexis Pinto, Mynor Alexander Pinto and Micah Amadeus Tillmon were arrested July 1 by Santa Monica police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who served search and arrest warrants in West Hills and Chatsworth.

The Pintos are expected to be arraigned at the Airport Courthouse sometime this afternoon.

They are each facing four counts of looting during emergency or evacuation: second-degree burglary and four separate counts of second-degree commercial burglary involving the Sake House restaurant and Brandy Melville, REI and Patagonia stores.

Gisselle is also charged with two additional counts each of looting during emergency or evacuation: second-degree burglary and second-degree commercial burglary stemming from losses at Magicopolis and Vons stores.

Tillmon, is charged with five counts each of looting and commercial burglary in the complaint filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Santa Monica police allege the three stole clothing, computers, backpacks, a bicycle and groceries, while Tillmon is additionally accused of setting fire to the Sake House at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Fourth Street.

Tillmon, who will be prosecuted first in federal court, was arrested by last week, is facing an arson charge that carries a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years if he's convicted.

According to the affidavit in support of the federal complaint against Tillmon, security video from the restaurant shows Tillmon removing "a red tube-shaped object from his jacket, which he placed behind the reception desk area of the restaurant before walking away. Within seconds of that action, smoke and fire appeared from the area.''

Investigators with the Santa Monica Fire Department determined that the fire was caused by the object that Tillmon allegedly placed in the restaurant. He was identified by Santa Monica police detectives, who reviewed numerous security videos and social media posts.

Tillmon was also linked to the fire when investigators uncovered a video showing his white Ford Explorer parking next to the Sake House four minutes before the fire started and then reversing across the street soon after the blaze began, according to the affidavit.

That same video allegedly shows the Explorer parking about 500 feet away from the Sake House, and Tillmon exiting the vehicle and looting a nearby business, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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