Browsing: Thievery

Eight of ten American metro areas with the highest risk for car thefts are in California, according to a new report from the website Cheap Car Insurance.

Those cities don’t include Los Angeles, but Riverside-San Bernardino is on the list at number nine. Modesto (first), Albuquerque (second), Bakersfield (third), Salinas (fourth) and the Bay Area (fifth) compose the top five.

The site bases its list on National Insurance Crime Bureau data.


darwin-castillo-mugshot-broward-sheriffBroward Sheriff's Office

Melissa Rodriguez was collecting seashells on the Hollywood, Florida beach hours after the last fireworks had dimmed on the Fourth of July when she realized her pants were missing. She had left her black jeans, wallet, and car keys on a lifeguard stand before walking to the water. When she turned around, she saw a man in a gray hoodie run off with them down Ocean Drive.

Rodriguez had become a victim of what appeared to be a string of Independence Day petty thefts on Hollywood Beach.

And, after accused robber Darwin Castillo was apprehended, police say he was wearing the very same black jeans he stole from her.

nicholas.broviak.surveillance.image.1.800.croppedBreakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: A number of burglaries targeting high-priced ski goods and equipment struck numerous nearby resorts, but the cops had no idea who was committing them. Then Broviak got pulled over for tailgating and changing lanes without signaling — and guess what they found in the back of his truck. Westword has the story.

Maria Christina JohnsonLASD

Maria Christina Johnson

Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up. Allegedly.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department this week said in a statement that it has collared a prolific identity thief who used dating websites to find victims who helped her live “a jet-set lifestyle.”

Maria Christina Johnson, 43, was arrested last week in connection with a string of ID thefts that constituted “prolific identity theft and financial abuse,” Sheriff’s officials alleged.

A 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi was bound for Poland, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents smelled something fishy when the paperwork was checked out as it awaited its trip at the L.A.-area port complex.

The vehicle identification number belonged to a 1982 Ferrari 308 GTS that had already been exported from the United States to Norway in 2005, the CBP said in a statement.

The feds brought in some help: a California Highway Patrol Investigative Services Unit detective, a National Insurance Crime Bureau special agent assigned to the Foreign Export and Recovery (FEAR) team, and even a Ferrari factory expert.

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