Santa Monica City Council Member’s Music Store Stolen For Second Time This Year

Flights in September and November at the Santa Monica Music Center

By Dolores Quintana

Laura Negrete, a member of the Santa Monica City Council, co-owns the family-owned Santa Monica Music Center, and the store was robbed for the second time in three months. The first burglary took place on September 16 at around 3:23 a.m. and the incident was reported by a homeless woman who lived in her car nearby. SMPD officers were dispatched to the scene and found that a number of musical instruments were missing after discovering thieves had removed a window from the exterior wall in order to enter the building. The witness informed the police that she saw two men running away with the instruments on bicycles. Councilor Negrete showed her gratitude to the witness by swearing that she would find housing for the woman and enlisting the help of the Community Corporation of Santa Monica in finding the woman a permanent home.

The second burglary occurred on Tuesday, November 23 in the early morning hours. At 2:39 a.m., surveillance camera footage showed a man in a black and white checkered hoodie throwing a fire extinguisher through the store window, while another man entered through the door. window and took two guitars, a bass guitar, and other smaller items. . The store has seen more than its fair share of problems since the pandemic closed its doors last year and suffered damage during civil unrest resulting from the May 31, 2021 protests. Negrete herself found out that the store had been robbed and contacted the SMPD. Lieutenant Rudy Flores and another officer conducted the investigation.

Unfortunately, the stolen guitars were a donation from the Guitar Center to Councilmember Negrete’s non-profit Outreach Through The Arts. The purpose of the foundation is to give children who cannot afford music lessons a chance to learn to play instruments across the combined Santa Monica and Malibu school district.

Damage from 2021 was $ 180,000, and burglaries in September and November will cost $ 4,450 and $ 6,280, respectively, which is hard for small business owners to bear. City Councilor Negrete believes that the challenges she has faced over the past two years with the family business have given her the initiative to join Santa Monica City Council and seek solutions to Santa Monica’s problems. As a business owner who wants to deter corporate crime, Negrete wants to see a police force that is more solidly staffed and able to hire more police officers faster.

Council member Negrete also asked the woman who reported the break-in at her business to speak to the city council’s ad hoc committee on the homeless in an effort to show committee members what it really is. be homeless and inform the committee about the real needs of homeless people and the best way to deal with the situation from his point of view.

Alice P. Darby