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News Release

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Media Relations

Office Creeper NR15287pv

Tarzana: Detectives have released photos of a man who has walked into several Ventura Boulevard office buildings for the purpose of stealing items like laptops and cell phones.

"We refer to thieves like this man as Office Creepers," said Capt. Paul Vernon, who heads up the West Valley Patrol Division. "They are bold and brazen, and they'll usually have an excuse when confronted."

In this case, the 50-something year old Black man will say, "Oops, I'm lost," or "Can you give me directions?" He has hit two buildings in Tarzana and Encino over a four-week period, starting in late June. He seems to hit around lunch time when employees are away from desks.

The pictures are quite clear of this 6-foot man, who is medium build with thinning hair. Anyone who knows the thief should be able to recognize him.

Here are a few steps to protect your business against office creepers:

• Install a video security system
• Restrict entry to offices with keypads or other lock systems
• Close and lock offices when not in use
• Ensure reception areas are staffed and challenge unfamiliar persons
• Have employees lock up purses and valuables out of sight
• Be leery of persons whom you find walking in areas restricted to customers
• Secure back entries and storage closets

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Officer Steffensen, West Valley Burglary detectives, at (818) 374-7769. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Online tips may be placed at, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.