Stand-in-a-Wall Gang Targeting Food for Less NR15052pv

February 18, 2015

Panorama City: Detectives
released video of three Black men in their thirties who are working
as a team to steal cash from store tills while businesses are open.
They hit four stores from one chain in a single day and may be
targeting other chains.

“When you see it on video, it’s quite obvious,” said Det. Samer
Issa, who is investigating the latest case from a Panorama City
Food for Less store. “Two of the suspects form a wall like soccer
players to block a clerk’s view as their accomplice steals

Video shows one man open the till
from a closed check-out stand, while his accomplices stand shoulder
to shoulder at an adjacent check-out stand.

“The accomplices bought just enough merchandise to prolong their
check-out and give their buddy time to get the cash,” Det. Issa
explained. “The till tapper got several hundred dollars, and all
three walked out together.”

According to detectives, this till-tap team hit a total of four
Food for Less stores; the others being in Devonshire,
North Hollywood, with the first one of the day in Norwalk.

“Businesses can protect themselves from this crew by removing tills
from registers when the register is not occupied,” Issa said. “But
we realize that becomes another issue for customer service when
there’s a need to open a check-out quickly. With some luck, someone
will recognized one of these men and help us catch them.”

The video can be shot off a monitor at the LAPD’s Mission Police
Station at 11121 N. Sepulveda Bl., Mission Hills, by contacting
Det. Issa. We are unable to email the video.

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Det. Samer
Issa, Mission Burglary detectives, at (818) 838-9977. 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