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News Release

Friday, February 17, 2012

Media Relations

Distraction Burglary Suspects Arrested NR12088cj

Los Angeles: Three burglary suspects were arrested in the Mid-Wilshire area and LAPD Olympic Area Burglary detectives are seeking more victims who may have been burglarized.

On February 16, 2012, around 9:00 a.m., two women knocked on the door of an apartment in the 200 block of South Kenmore Avenue, where a 92-year-old woman answered the door.  She was told by the women that they were here to check on her damaged pipes.  While the two suspects distracted the victim, a third female entered the apartment and took jewelry, clothing and money.  All three then fled in a grey 1996 Honda four door sedan.

About two hours later, the same three suspects went to another residence in the 200 block of South 3rd Avenue and distracted an 83-year-old woman.  The suspects used the same tactic to burglarize and ransack her residence.

This information was reported to the LAPD Olympic Area station and patrol officers located the suspects as they drove off from the second location, where they were arrested near Crenshaw and Olympic Boulevard.   The officers also recovered not only property belonging to the two victim’s, but other items possibly stolen from other unidentified victims.

Over the years, the City of Los Angeles, as well as neighboring cities have experienced a rash of similar distraction burglaries involving Caucasian males and females, who target elderly victims.  Detectives believe 41-year-old Debbie Riste, 22-year-old Victoria Riste and 40-year-old Theresa Mouto may have been involved in multiple distraction burglaries around the city.  The suspects were arrested and booked for Burglary (459 PC) then transported to Metropolitan Detention Center where they posted bail.

Victims are encouraged to contact Olympic Burglary Detectives with any information regarding this investigation. Detectives are also in possession of jewelry and clothing and the owners of this property have yet to be identified.  If you have any information call Detective McBride at 213-382-9367 or Detective Perez at 213-382-9370. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.