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News Release

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Media Relations

Suspect Arrested for Posing as Coca-Cola Employee to Steal Money from Vending Machines NR09508rf

Los Angeles:  A burglary suspect, Van Nuys locksmith Jay Ybarra, who has been posing as a company representative for Coca-Cola has been arrested for stealing money from local vending machines.

Following is a typical example of how the suspect has been operating since the last week of August 2009.  On Oct. 13, 2009, at around 12:30 p.m., a suspect wearing a "Coke" baseball cap and a gray jacket with a "Coke" logo drove his white van to the rear of a business in the 6500 block of Topanga Canyon Boulevard.  After entering through a door in the garage at the back of the building, without raising suspicions because of his appearance, he proceeded to open a vending machine with a key and transfer money from the machine into a bag.  Afterward, the suspect secured the machine and left in his van.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers had been working closely with a Coca-Cola field security manager on the investigation to furnish local businesses with the suspect's description and some details of his operations.  On Oct. 30, the suspect abruptly left when he was questioned by business personnel at a location where was attempting to access a vending machine.  Those who questioned him also provided details to police that led to his arrest on Nov. 2.  At that time, some evidence in the case was also recovered.

The LAPD gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of Coca-Cola Enterprises and local business personnel, without which Ybarra might not have been identified and arrested.