Man charged with burglary and indecent exposure over break-in at Santa Monica apartment

Santa Monica police arrested Anthony Romero for breaking into a woman's home.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A man accused of illegally entering the home of a Santa Monica woman and performing a sex act near her as she slept has been charged with a pair of felonies.

Los Angeles County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Anthony Romero, 28, with one count of burglary and one count of indecent exposure and illegal entry. Romero, who remains in custody, is expected back in court April 17 for a preliminary hearing.

Anthony Romero, a homeless man faces charges for allegedly breaking into a Santa Monica woman’s home.
Anthony Romero, 28, who has a lengthy criminal record, faces charges for allegedly breaking into a Santa Monica woman’s home and masturbating next to her as she slept.
(Santa Monica Police Department)

Romero is alleged to have entered the 2nd Street apartment at 2:10 a.m. on Feb. 29, according to Santa Monica Police.

He is alleged to have climbed through an unlocked window, likely by stepping on a porch, according to Santa Monica Police Lt. Erika Aklufi.

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Feb. 2, 2024

Romero then walked over to the victim and masturbated as she slept, according to authorities. He did not make contact with the woman, according to Aklufi.


While he was exposing himself, the victim awoke and ordered Romero to leave, according to police. Romero complied as the woman called police. He left the apartment before officers responded to the call.

Security footage was collected by police, who arrested Romero just before 9:30 a.m. the following day while he was walking on Santa Monica Boulevard.

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March 8, 2024

Romero was initially booked with an additional charge of attempt to commit rape, which has been dropped.

Romero was on parole in San Bernardino County for a weapons violation. He had been arrested in Santa Monica in January 2022 for shoplifting and last June for public intoxication, resisting arrest and battery on a police officer, according to Aklufi. Police said Romero identified himself to officers as homeless.