Homeless suspect is believed to have attempted prior carjackings, but the homeless are our neighbors, harmless and beneficial
November 16, 2023 - It took over a week, but the Santa Monica Police are now telling us about their arrest of a carjacking and kidnapping situation that occurred in Santa Monica on November 7. As it turns out, it was the six carjacked victims who subdued the suspect, Adrian Jose Dugas, 24 and homeless and then called the police at 10:30 pm to come pick up their tormentor.
According to the victims, Dugas approached them as they were returning to their vehicle in Parking Structure 8 (Santa Monica Place, once a renowned shopping mall). Dugas pretended to have a handgun concealed in a duffle bag and thus coerced the group to let him in the backseat of their car. He confiscated their cell phones and then demanded his victims drive him around the city. During this, he reportedly repeatedly threatened to shoot them and physically assaulted the driver and another passenger.
After over an hour of this tour of the other homeless (but none of them are violent) around Santa Monica, Dugas ordered his passengers out of the vehicle. While exiting, one of his victims put Dugas in a chokehold. Fortunately, he did not kill Dugas or he'd have been the one who got arrested. The former victims held Dugas down until Santa Monica police officers arrived.
Unbelievably, the Los Angeles District Attorney is actually charging Dugas with several felonies and holding him on $6.4 million bail. Dugas is charged with:
6 counts of robbery
6 counts of kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking
1 attempted carjacking
1 count of aggravated assault
Dugas is in custody awaiting a November 29th court appearance.
It is no surprise to learn that SMPD Detectives believe the suspect may have attempted other crimes, specifically an additional carjacking, and they are seeking other victims. Anyone with information related to this individual or this investigation is urged to contact Detective Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sergeant Gradle at email@example.com or call 310-458-8427.