SMPD arrest a suspect at Pico and Centinela on January 19th at approximately 3:30PM. The suspect is believed to be responsible for the Molotov Cocktail throwing incidents that have been witnessed by residents over the past two days in Santa Monica.

We have received reports that the investigations taking place across the city on the evening of January 19th, were related to incidents of Molotov cocktails being thrown out of a car window around Santa Monica for at least two days (this information was confirmed). Per usual, we are left in the dark by our city, so please follow along as we explain the link between the police investigations and reports that we have received. Also note that what we are reporting is currently unconfirmed until SMPD releases more information.

On the night of January 18th, residents in multiple locations report that a dark-colored, older model car was observed driving with its lights off and an occupant was throwing incendiary devices from the vehicle onto the roadway. These incidents were reportedly called into SMPD. 

At approximately 3:30PM yesterday at Pico & Centinela, witnesses report seeing heavy police activity, LAPD airship overhead and a male subject who was driving what appears to be a 1969 Lincoln Continental Coupe being taken into custody. Sources state that this is the subject who is believed to be responsible for the Molotov cocktail incidents (again, unconfirmed). Hours later, forensics were still on site and the car can be seen being searched.

Also around the same time, crime scene tape was set up and forensics was observed collecting evidence at two separate McDonald’s locations in Santa Monica – Pico & 29th and Princeton & Santa Monica Blvd. When residents at the scene questioned officers, they replied that “someone broke some glass.” 

Based on information that we have received, SMPD was aware that an individual driving an older, dark-colored car was running around Santa Monica, tossing Molotov Cocktails from his car window, but didn’t bother to warn residents. At the very least, SMPD could have alerted the public to be on the lookout for a car “that was wanted in connection with a criminal investigation.” Per usual, our city wanted to keep this incident as quiet as possible, while completely disregarding potential threats to the safety of its citizens.

As we mention often, we need to demand more transparency from our city government. Incidents such as these should not be taken lightly and by not informing the public to be on alert when these situations arise, they pose real threats to public safety. In any other city, reports of a Molotov Cocktail throwing suspect would hit the 11 o’clock news. In other cities, this is the type of information that the media would pick up on local police scanners and would use to notify the public. Here, we are completely in the dark. Because SMPD has encrypted police scanners, we only receive information regarding crimes that are occurring around us on their terms. Each tidbit that is released is carefully hand-selected so they can control the narrative. And these are only the reports that they decide to tell us about…

Had we not received tips from our local community as well as information from sources on the ground, it’s very likely that this whole incident would have gotten swept under the rug. As of this writing, SMPD has not released any information regarding the reports of the Molotov Cocktails or the arrest that took place on Centinela and Pico. We will update with more information as it becomes available.

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