UPDATE: 2:10 a.m. EST – The Santa Monica Police Department, which is currently conducting a manhunt for a suspect who tried to rob a jewelry store Wednesday, has released the first photograph of the suspect. It has also asked for public assistance on its search for the suspect, who is still at large.
The department has advised Santa Monica citizens, living on or near Montana Avenue, not to be alarmed by the sound of an explosion. The sound was of a controlled detonation of an explosive device dropped by the suspect near a car, before he fled on foot, the officials said.
Although the perimeter search was completed by the Santa Monica officers, they told the public to expect increased police activity in the area till the suspect is apprehended. The traffic, which was temporarily blocked in the area, has been reopened.
The police are currently searching for a suspect who tried to rob a jewelry store in Montana Avenue on Wednesday and was armed with an explosive in Santa Monica, California.
A perimeter was set up by the police on 14th and 16th streets to the west and east, and San Vicente Boulevard and Margarita Avenue to the north and south in Santa Monica, as officers conducted a manhunt for the suspect. The police first announced that they were pursuing a suspect in a case of robbery at 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. EST), ABC7 reported.
People in the neighborhood have been asked to stay indoors or stay away from the area.
The man, who was armed with an explosive device, threatened to detonate the device during the attempted robbery. Having failed to do so, and being unsuccessful in securing any merchandize from the store, he got back into his black-colored SUV and fled from the scene.
After crashing his vehicle into a car parked near the 300 block of 15th Street in Santa Monica, he dropped the explosive device near the vehicle and fled on foot.
According to Santa Monica Police Lt. Saul Rodriguez, the suspect might be in the area north of Montana Avenue. The suspect was seen jumping fences and running across resident’s yards by witnesses, CW affiliated KTLA reported.
The police described the suspect as a Latino man who was wearing dark clothing. Although the suspect was initially described as a heavily-built man, the police revised their statement later on. Currently, the physical description of the suspected thief has been stated as a man with a thin frame and measuring about 5 feet 9 inches tall.
Tactical bomb technicians from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene after the presence of an explosive device was reported near the suspect’s car.
Police dogs, SWAT units and helicopters have been deployed in the search for the suspect. They are currently scanning the area between 14th and 15th streets and San Vicente Boulevard and Margarita Avenue.