Six Victims Have Already Fallen Prey
Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department Harbor Area Detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify a group of Spanish-speaking suspects who are duping unsuspecting Spanish-speaking victims in the Harbor City, Wilmington, and San Pedro communities.
Beginning on January 12, 2011, at about 1:30 p.m., through June 8, 2011, 3:15 p.m., a group of con-artists have been working together targeting lone victims with the claim that they are in possession of a winning California State Lottery ticket. The suspects explain that they are unable to cash in the ticket because they are in the country illegally.
They offer to share the winnings of the lottery ticket if the victim will present themselves as the winner of the ticket to the State Lottery Authority. The victim is required to provide the suspects with something of value, (cash or jewelry), for the suspect’s “protection.” Once the victim delivered the good faith money or jewelry they discovered that there was no actual winning lottery ticket.
The suspects are described as a male and female Hispanic in their twenty’s and a male Hispanic in his forty’s. A composite of two of the suspects is attached to this release along with the crime dates and locations.
Detectives are cautioning the public to beware of strangers approaching them and claiming to have a winning lottery ticket.
Anyone with information about these crimes or suspects are asked to call Harbor Area Detectives at 310-726-7900. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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 LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.