Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division are seeking information about a trio of suspects who allegedly pickpocketed a victim on Oct. 23 at a Victoria’s Secret store in the Beverly Center.
Det. Bernard Romero, with the Wilshire Division Robbery Unit, said the suspects were captured on surveillance camera video committing the crime. He said authorities were unable to review the video for approximately 10 days, which led to a delay in publicly disseminating the information.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:20 p.m. in the 8500 block of Beverly Boulevard. The trio of suspects included two men and one woman who impersonated shoppers and pretended to shop for clothing items. The female suspect stood next to the victim and removed a wallet from the victim’s purse. She then engaged one of the male suspects in conversation while she placed the wallet in her bag.
One of the male suspects walked out alone, while the female suspect left the store along with the other male suspect. The victim didn’t realize her wallet was missing until she walked to the cash register to make a purchase.
“They knew what they were doing. They were in there for one particular purpose,” Romero said. “They are looking for opportunities. They saw her and removed her wallet. This is what they do.”
Romero said he received reports from four or five other victims who believe they may have been pickpocketed by the same individuals, but he has not yet connected the crimes. He said the incident illustrates the need to keep personal property secure and to be aware of surroundings. He expects similar crimes to increase during the holiday season.
“It’s a reminder. That’s one of the reasons why we put it out there. We can reduce the number of incidents by making people more aware,” Romero added. “There might be more possible victims. A lot of people may not file a report because they think, ‘oh, I may have lost it.’”
Romero said pickpocketing is a crime that was more prevalent in the past, and he hopes the incident at the Victoria’s Secret store is not a new trend. More than a decade ago, police formed a temporary task force to specifically target pickpocketing suspects because of problems occurring at the garment district downtown, he said.
“They target places with large agroups of people that are crowded where they can easily get cover,” Romero said. “Hopefully we can identify someone and also let the public know about this.”
The suspects are described as Caucasian or Latino. The female suspect is approximately 35 to 40 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 130 pounds with long black hair. She was wearing dark-colored clothing.
The male suspects are 20 to 25 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 190 pounds. One wore a white shirt, blue jeans and dark shoes, while the other wore a dark-colored baseball cap, khaki pants, a black backpack and dark shoes.
The surveillance camera footage can be viewed at wwww.lapdonline.org. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact detectives with the Wilshire Division Robbery Unit at (323)922-8215.
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