Two Women Arrested in Bogus Robbery


A young woman who hoped to be a store detective was in jail Monday night after an alleged attempt to get Christmas money by staging the robbery of the Costa Mesa beauty shop at which she worked.

Police said Silvia Caballero, 22, a clerk at Sally’s Beauty Shop in the 2200 block of Harbor Boulevard, asked roommate Melina Vasquez, 21, to pose as a robber and take $1,600 from the shop.

After the 9 a.m. heist, Caballero phoned police to report that she had been robbed by a woman and a man with a gun in his waistband, said Sgt. Scott May, a spokesman for the Costa Mesa Police Department.

The clerk described the “robbers” to police, who a short time later spotted a woman who fit the description of the female robber. In addition to wearing clothing similar to that described by Caballero, officers said, the woman had a large sum of money.


When Caballero was asked if the detained woman was the culprit, she said, “No, the person who robbed me was thinner.” Acting on a hunch, one of the officers then asked Caballero if she knew the suspect. The young woman replied, “Yes, she’s my roommate.”

The women “later admitted they concocted the story because they needed money for Christmas gifts,” police spokesman Lt. John Fitzpatrick said.

Caballero and Vasquez were both being held at the Orange County Jail on Monday night on suspicion of burglary and theft. Bail for each was set at $10,000.

According to police, it was Caballero’s last day at the beauty supply store before starting a new job as a store detective.