Detectives Seeking Additional Victims of a Latin Lotto Scam NR19263dm

September 30, 2019

Los Angeles: On September 26,
2019, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD)
Commercial Crimes Division, Major Theft Task Force (MTTF), arrested
three suspects for 487(A) PC, Grand Theft. The suspects had just
completed a complex “Latin Lotto” scam on an unwitting 65-year-old
victim. The suspects traveled through neighborhoods in the city of
Long Beach looking for elderly female Hispanics walking alone. Once
a potential victim was spotted, a female suspect would walk up and
engage the victim in conversation. The suspect asks for help
cashing a winning lottery ticket. A second suspect then walks up
from the other direction and joins in the scam. The male suspect
usually remained out of sight of the victim and would act as the
“lottery commissioner” on the phone who would “validate” the
winning lottery ticket. The suspects would convince the victim to
retrieve money and jewelry from her house or bank as “good faith”
money needed to cash the winning ticket. After leaving the bank,
the suspects would then find a ruse to get the victim out of their
vehicle and drive away with her money.

MTTF officers surveilled this crew for several days as they
traveled through numerous cities including Pacoima, North
Hollywood, San Fernando, El Monte, Ontario, Pico Rivera, and Long
Beach. In each city they circled neighborhoods until they observed
an older female Hispanic walking alone, where they would then start
dropping off suspects at either end of the block to approach the
intended target. This scam is purposely complicated, designed to
keep the victim confused until they can talk her into retrieving
money or jewelry to get the “big winnings,” from which the victim
is promised to make a large sum of money.
The male suspect in this crew, Tito Lozada, is suspected in another
lotto scam in the city of San Diego, where the victim was held
against her will for a period of time in the suspect vehicle before
being released. This crew worked several days a week from late
morning to early evening. It is highly likely there are more
victims of their scam that we have not yet identified.

Mercedes Montanez
Booking #5757651

Luisa Camargo
Booking #5757594

Tito Lozada
Booking #5757640

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Carol Mosher,
Commercial Crimes Division, Major Theft Task Force, at (213)
486-6963. 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 the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at
1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to Tipsters may also visit, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the
“Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly,
tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and
select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.