Police Hunt for Baby Stroller Bandits

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    NEWSLETTERS

    LAPD

    Police are searching for two baby stroller bandits suspected of stealing wallets from the strollers of mothers while they shop.

    Los Angeles detectives released photos and video of the two female suspects Thursday. Scroll down to view the surveillance video.

    Police Hunt for Baby Stroller Bandits

    [LA] Police Hunt for Baby Stroller Bandits
    Police are searching for two baby stroller bandits suspected of stealing wallets from the strollers of mothers while they shop. (Published Thursday, Jun 9, 2011)

    In one case at a swap meet at 530 S. Los Angeles, surveillance video shows the suspects sizing up their victim, a mother with her 23-month-old toddler inside a stroller. Then, working together, police said they begin to distract the mother until one of the suspects grabs the wallet.

    "While the crime may seem minor, it’s scary because the victim’s child is so close and vulnerable," said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division. "Imagine a thief reaching into a stroller to take a purse, and the strap becomes tangled with the child as the thief tries to run away."

    Victims have reported about six thefts from strollers by women in the downtown area over the last six weeks, police said.

    The shopping district is just a few blocks from skid row. Some women who shop there say they're always on the lookout for thieves.

    "I just keep my stuff with me at all times. I never leave them in the stroller," says Crystal Rodriguez, shopper.

    But others find it a shame that two females would target other women.

    "What is society coming to these days? Do we have to walk around with beepers and tags on our purses," asks Patricia Lewis, a shopper.

    Detectives believe the two women live locally and encourage anyone who recognizes them to call Det. Mike Mazzacano at (213) 972-1231.