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Suspects sought in robbery-kidnapping plot at Santa Monica hotel

Santa Monica police on Tuesday were seeking the public's help in identifying two suspects wanted in a robbery-kidnapping attempt at a hotel near the city's popular pier and seaside amusement park.

The April 21 incident at the Seaview Hotel on Ocean Avenue involved five victims and more than a half dozen suspects, some of whom were armed with handguns, according to police.

The request for public help comes as the city is reeling from a recent burst of violence, including a shooting rampage Friday that left six people dead.

In the kidnapping and robbery incident, officers responded  to the hotel after a report of a disturbance in a room, the Santa Monica Police Department said. The hotel is just a few blocks from the pier and Pacific Park. 

"Officers observed several suspects fleeing the location on foot" as patrol cars arrived, Sgt. Richard Lewis said in a statement. 

He said four suspects were taken into custody and that officers recovered four handguns.

Two suspects who fled were identified by police as Oxnard resident Sergio Raul Gutierrez, 26, and girlfriend Melissa Lizeth Castillo Gomez, 23, who lives in Los Angeles.

Gutierrez is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair, police said. Gomez is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

The pair may be living in the Los Angeles area, Lewis said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Chad Goodwin at (310) 458-8942 or Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959.


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