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News Release

Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Media Relations

Public Alert Bulletin for Elderly Valley Residents

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Public Alert Bulletin

Devonshire, West Valley and Van Nuys Areas have been experiencing a distraction type of theft where lone elderly females are targeted by suspects acting as a team. The victim is seated in a vehicle in a shopping center parking lot and is approached by either the male or female suspect. The suspect tells the victim that she has a flat tire and directs her to exit the vehicle. The victim exits the vehicle to examine the tire and notices that it is not flat. The suspect tells the victim that there is a nail in her tire and has her bend over to examine the tire. Another suspect then enters the victim's vehicle and removes her wallet from the purse. At the time of the incident the victim does not realize that she is the victim of a theft. Six incidents have occurred during the past two months.

The thefts have occurred in shopping centers, during the daytime, along Balboa Boulevard from Nordoff Street and San Fernando Mission Boulevard and Reseda Boulevard at Nordoff Street in Northridge; Riverside Drive and Hazeltine Avenue, in Sherman Oaks; Valley Circle Boulevard and Mulholland Drive in Woodland Hills, and Sherman Way and Shoup Avenue, in Canoga Park.

The suspects' description has varied on the crime reports. The male suspect has been described as white, Hispanic or other descent between 35/40 years old with dark well groomed hair, 5'8" to 5'10", 170 to180 pounds. The female has been described as unknown descent, 45 to 50 years old, light brown dyed hair, 5'3", 125 pounds. They may possibly have a Middle Eastern or east European accent.

A black vehicle, no further description, has been associated with the suspects on one occurrence and a 1980 to 1985 brown Nissan or Toyota, 4 door, on another.

THIS NOTICE IS TO ALERT THE PUBLIC AND ADVISE THEM TO EXERCISE CAUTION IF ENCOUNTERING SIMILAR SITUATIONS.

Any information regarding these occurrences should be given to Devonshire Auto Theft Detectives at 818-756-8291.



For Release 10:35 am PDT
September 8, 1999



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