Two men were arrested Thursday for allegedly setting a fire in a business in the Hollywood area and looting items during the recent protests, police said.
Mario Alvarado, 43, and Julian Mejia, 34, were taken into custody Thursday by members of the multi-agency SAFE LA Task Force and booked on suspicion of arson and looting, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police had circulated security images of the suspects wanted in the May 30 crime.
“The suspects depicted in the … images entered a restaurant in the Hollywood area,” an LAPD statement said. “One suspect utilized (an) accelerant to ignite a fire inside the location. After igniting the fire, the suspects looted several bottles of alcohol and looted items from neighboring businesses.”
The SAFE LA Task Force was formed in June, and included a webpage — www.lapdonline.org/safelatips — where authorities posted security images of wanted suspects and where tipsters could view the images and provide information to help solve the crimes.
“The intended purpose of the SAFE LA Task Force is to conduct criminal investigations for significant crimes during the protests and demonstrations in Los Angeles which started on May 29,” according to an LAPD statement.
The task force includes personnel from the LAPD, FBI, Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with the Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Torrance police departments.
In the investigation that led to Thursday’s arrests, authorities received a tip from the SAFELATIPS webpage that ultimately identified the suspects, who were arrested at their homes.
Tipsters who provide credible information for significant crimes during the SAFE LA civil unrest which leads to an arrest may be eligible for cash reward.
Police urged tipsters to go to www.lapdonline.org/safelatips for additional information. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call 213-486-6840. Tipsters may also submit an online tip, video, or pictures to SAFELATIPS@lapd.online.
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