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KTLA news anchor Lu Parker arrested at LAX on suspicion of petty theft

KTLA news anchor Lu Parker was arrested Wednesday after a passenger accused her of taking headphones during security screening at Los Angeles International Airport, officials said.

The anchor, whose legal name is Frances Louise Parker, was booked on suspicion of petty theft and is being held at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division.

The incident occurred about 7 a.m., when a passenger walking through the Transportation Security Administration screening area in Terminal 6 noticed a personal belonging was missing, said Officer Robert Pedregon, a spokesman for Los Angeles Airport Police. (KTLA said in a statement that the situation was the result of a “misunderstanding.”)

When officers arrived at the screening area, the passenger told them what had happened and asked to perform a private person’s arrest, Pedregon said. Such an arrest is usually made when no on-duty officer witnessed the offense.

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Security video also showed the incident and a potential suspect, Pedregon said.

Parker, 48, of West Hollywood, was then removed from a flight and arrested, authorities said.

According to KTLA, Parker was going through the security line and noticed that a pair of earbud headphones had been left behind.

“She picked them up intending to return them to the owner whom she had been speaking with while in line to clear TSA,” KTLA said in a statement.

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But Parker couldn’t find the headphones’ owner, so she boarded her flight, according to KTLA.

“We believe this is a misunderstanding, Lu is cooperating fully with the authorities and we are confident she will be able to clear this all up,” KTLA said.

Parker was traveling to visit her father who is ill, the news station said.

Parker is a former Miss USA, a onetime girlfriend of former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a well-known animal rights advocate. 

richard.winton@latimes.com | Twitter: @lacrimes

veronica.rocha@latimes.com | Twitter: @veronicarochala

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UPDATES:

2:05 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from KTLA and additional information about Parker’s arrest.

This article was originally published at 1:25 p.m.


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