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Crime Report: Someone steals man’s ID to buy Mercedes in his name, makes payments on it

TCrescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.
A La Cañada man who was on an extended trip to Korea discovered someone used his personal identification to buy a Mercedes last May and has made payments on it since. The dealership advised him to file a police report.
(File / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Oct. 9

Vehicle burglary: 5000 block of Palm Drive, La Cañada. A woman whose car was parked in the lot at Palm Crest Elementary School between 7:20 and 7:50 a.m. returned to it to see the driver’s side rear window shattered and her leather purse containing her driver’s license and four credit cards, a Puma gym bag and a pair of Nike running shoes missing. Surveillance footage taken during the period shows a Latino, described by deputies as about 30-to-40 years old, 5 feet 8 to 6 feet in height and weighing 200 to 250 pounds, backing a light-colored truck into the parking space next to the victim’s 2014 Acura MDX. He can be seen stepping out of his truck and reaching through the Acura’s broken window, removing the items, then returning to his vehicle and driving out of view.

Vehicle burglary: 1900 block of Foothill Boulevard, La Cañada. A 2014 Kia Sorrento parked in the upper parking lot at the YMCA had its driver’s rear windows smashed, but its owner said it appeared nothing had been taken. Video footage shows that at 8:10 a.m. a Latino accompanied by a Latina, both appearing to be about 25 to 30 years old, entered the same lot in a late model pick-up truck. The couple exited the truck and walked around the perimeter of the Y’s campus. They then returned to the area near the victim’s Kia at about 8:35 a.m. Minutes later, they can be seen exiting the parking lot in the truck.

Oct. 10

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Theft by false pretenses: 600 block of Foothill Boulevard, La Cañada. A woman reported she had been scammed by someone purporting to be a computer technical support technician. She said the man who identified himself as Alex Smith, called her on Sept. 19 saying he could upgrade the older model laptop computer she had just purchased. He asked for permission to access the computer remotely and she granted it. He said she was due a credit because of the age of the computer and so asked her to log into her Credit One account. She did so, while he watched remotely. He then “accidentally” deposited more into her account than he was supposed to. He said he’d made a big mistake and that she would have to go to a Target store and get gift cards totaling an amount redacted from the crime report. She went to a Target, where she purchased six gift cards, then visited a CVS Pharmacy where she purchased one more gift card. Over the phone she provided Smith with the access numbers on the back of each of the gift cards. As soon as he had those numbers, he hung up. She contacted Capital One and told a representative what had transpired and was told to contact each credit bureau and place a fraud alert on her credit file. She was also advised to file a police report.

Burglary: 600 block of Starlight Crest Drive, La Cañada. Sometime between 8:45 p.m. and 11:55 p.m. someone shattered a sliding glass door to break into a home. Stolen from a bedroom were a Louis Vuitton duffle bag, an Hermes leather belt and a pair of Nike Air Jordan shoes. Taken from a kitchen drawer was a Porsche key fob. Missing from out of a cabinet in the garage was an empty safe.

Oct. 11

Grand theft: 2100 block of Foothill Boulevard, La Cañada. A woman who was shopping for shoes at around 9:45 p.m. briefly left her iPhone XI Pro Max sitting unattended on a bench in the store’s shoe department. When she returned to the bench, the phone was gone. She recalls seeing a male and a female in the same department with her before the phone went missing.

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Oct. 12

Grand thefts: 2400 block of Carol Park Place, Montrose and 2700 block of Prospect Avenue, La Crescenta. Two men reported that sometime overnight Oct. 11-12 the catalytic converters from their respective Toyota Priuses had been stolen.

Vehicle burglary: 1100 block of Fordhook Drive, La Cañada. Sometime between noon on Oct. 11 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 12 someone stole currency out of a 2014 Toyota Camry that had been left parked and secured along the curb near its owner’s home. No signs of forced entry were reported.

Identity theft: 4700 block of Vineta Avenue, La Cañada. A man on a business trip to Korea learned from his wife that they had received notification from Mercedes Financial Services that someone had purchased a 2017 Mercedes Benz E300W in his name on May 22. When he returned home from abroad on Sept. 15 he called the dealership, where the manager told him his personal identification had been used to make the purchase. The victim was advised to file a police report. A review of the financial services records revealed someone had made payments on the vehicle on July 6, Aug. 4 and Sept. 9.

Oct. 13

Identity theft: 5100 block of Ocean View Boulevard, La Cañada. A woman reported she’d received a flurry of notifications of fraudulent banking and other credit-related activities, beginning Oct. 3. She recalled that on Sept. 30 she’d noticed that her mailbox had pry marks on it and was empty, but hadn’t thought anything of it at the time.

Oct. 14

Vandalism: 4700 block of Briggs Avenue, La Crescenta. A man reported two vehicles, one that had been left parked in his driveway and the other on the street, sustained damages overnight Oct. 13-14. A 2008 Lexus RX350 had three tires slashed and a 2003 Chevy pickup truck had two tires slashed and its windshield broken.

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Compiled from reports on file at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

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