robert arv abalov
Robert Art Abalov. Photo: Santa Monica PD

Police Friday released a photo of a 32-year-old man they seek in connection with the attempted armed robbery of a jewelry store in Santa Monica.

The suspect has been identified as Robert Art Abalov of Los Angeles, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

Abalov allegedly was holding a suspicious device when he entered the store, Curated Los Angeles, at about 5:35 p.m. Wednesday in the 1600 block of Montana Avenue, claiming he had a bomb, police said.

[symple_googlemap title=”Robbery” location=”1600 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, Ca” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]

He demanded and was given store merchandise, then began arguing with the employee who gave it to him, Santa Monica police Lt. Saul Rodriguez said.

The suspect dropped the merchandise in the store as he fled the location and got into a vehicle, which he crashed into a parked car in the 300 block of 15th Street, before fleeing on foot, Rodriguez said.

A suspicious device was found on the ground next to the driver’s side of the vehicle and a sheriff’s arson-explosives unit was summoned to investigate. The device was detonated by the bomb squad. It contained a couple of propane canisters, some wires and a charger, but it was unclear if it was capable of doing damage or causing an explosion, Rodriguez said.

A perimeter search involving police dogs and SWAT units was conducted between 14th and 15th streets and San Vicente Boulevard and Marguerita Avenue, Rodriguez said. Area residents were advised to shelter in place and others to avoid the area.

The perimeter was broken down just before 10:30 p.m. and the suspect remains at large, police said.

Abalov was described as white, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 145 pounds with brown hair and eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery or Abalov was urged to call Santa Monica police at (310) 458-8491.

–City News Service

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