Downtown Los Angeles header image
Los Angeles Police Department Badge


News Release

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Media Relations

Distraction Burglars Targeting the Elderly NR11104kr

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department Topanga Area detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing information about three suspects believed responsible for a series of distraction burglaries that have targeted elderly residents.     

Beginning in November of 2010, and most recently on January 28, 2011, at around 2 p.m., in the 22000 block of Gresham Street, and again on February 3, 2011, at around 11:30 a.m. in the 22900 block of Cantlay Street, elderly victims were approached by a single suspect who would use a ruse to get the victims to lead the suspect to the backyard, claiming to be doing working on a neighbors yard, (tree trimming, reinforcing a retaining wall, or some other construction project on the property).

The ruse involved calling additional suspects either by telephone or walkie talkie. Once the victim and suspect were in the backyard additional suspects would go into the victims’ residence through an unlocked door, rummage through the victim’s property and take off with cash and jewelry.  

After one burglary, a victim saw the suspects get into a silver, four door, Dodge pick-up truck with chrome wheels, and a second car described as a blue unknown type pick-up truck.  

The suspects have been described as:
•    Suspect-1 male, Hispanic, 30 to 40-years-old, black hair, brown eyes, 170 to 190 pounds, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 11 inches tall

•     Suspect-2 male, Hispanic, 40  to 50-years of age, black hair, brown eyes, 200 pounds, and 5 feet 7 inches tall

•     Suspect-3 female, Hispanic, 30  to 40-years-old, long black hair pulled back in a pony tail, wearing a black dress.

  Anyone with information about these suspects or series of crimes is urged to call Topanga Burglary Detectives, Detective Parra at 818-756-5846 or 818-756-5850.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 213-978-6500 or 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers 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.