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Crime Report: Man says he was followed from bank, cash stolen from van

Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station
When he returned to his van, the victim saw a man run across the street and enter a blue SUV before speeding off. He noticed it resembled the SUV he’d parked next to at the bank.
(File Photo)

Nov. 21

Shoplifting: 900 block of Town Center Drive, La Cañada. An informant told deputies that sometime around 7:31 p.m. two unknown females entered the store and stole several bottles of alcohol. One suspect was described as a heavyset black female wearing reading glasses, a white sweater and black pants and carrying an extra-large black shoulder bag. The other was described as a black female of medium build, wearing a gray sweater, black pants and black and yellow sneakers and carrying a black cross-body purse. Store surveillance footage showed the first woman concealing a bottle of Hennessey VSOP in her purse while the second woman placed various bottles, including cognac and tequila into a reusable plastic shopping bag inside a cart before the pair left the store.

Theft by false pretenses: 4700 block of Daleridge Road, La Cañada. A man received a call the morning of Nov. 19 from a company he’d paid the year before to tune up his computer, indicating the company planned to automatically extend his contract for three years. When he called back to cancel the extension, a representative agreed, asking to remotely check the computer. He granted remote access and was told the company had detected several viruses and would clean them out and offer a full refund of his initial purchase. The man provided the requested personal information and was told there was an issue with the refund. The representative said to fix the issue, the man needed to purchase four Nike gift cards and if he failed to do so, the computer would be locked. The man complied and purchased the cards while still on the phone with the representative. He gave the person the cards’ PIN codes and serial numbers but later discovered his bank had no record of any refund. He called the company back on Nov. 20, as he could not access his computer’s data, and was promised a refund but felt he was being scammed.

Burglary, residence: 4700 block of Ramsdell Avenue, La Crescenta. An elderly woman told deputies she heard her doorbell ring at around 1 p.m. while she was on the other side of the house. Not hearing a follow-up ring, she sat down facing a corridor leading from the living room to her bedroom and five minutes later saw a young woman partially enter the living room. Upon being seen, the woman covered her face and disappeared back into the corridor. The startled woman was unable to describe the woman and waited several minutes before calling her son. It was determined the suspect entered through a sliding glass door in the bedroom. Several pieces of the woman’s jewelry were stolen during the incident.

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Nov. 22

Burglary, vehicle: 2500 block of Olive Avenue, La Crescenta. A man reported leaving his 2012 Ford van parked in a Foothill Boulevard bank lot at around 1:30 p.m., next to a blue SUV. When he returned to his van, he placed two white bank envelopes containing an unspecified amount of cash in the driver’s side door compartment and drove to Olive Avenue, parking his vehicle along a residential curb at around 2:15 p.m. When he returned to his vehicle 15 minutes later, he saw a man in a blue sweater and jeans running east on Olive Avenue, then getting into a blue SUV parked near the residence. As the vehicle sped off out of view, the man noticed it resembled the one that had parked next to him at the bank. He saw his van’s passenger side rear sliding door was ajar and the two cash envelopes were missing.

Nov. 24

Theft by false pretenses: 2200 block of Del Mar Road, Montrose. A man told deputies that on Sept. 9 he tried to open three of his Apollo Foundation cryptocurrency digital “wallets” online but could not access them. He contacted the Apollo Foundation by text message using the social media app Telegraph to try to fix his wallets but was unsuccessful. A few minutes later, he was contacted in a private message by a Telegraph account, the host of which directed him to take additional steps to repair his wallets, which were successful. The account holder advised the man of a new wallet he could use to transfer money from person to person and he agreed, transferring an unspecified amount of cybercurrency into the new wallet. Once the transfer was complete, he saw transactions transferring the coins to a cryptocurrency exchange called “BitMart,” presumably for sale. He called the Apollo Foundation, using Telegraph, and notified them of a potential scam. The foundation contacted BitMart, who froze the transactions before the coins were sold, and attempted to assist him in their recovery.

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Nov. 25

Petty theft: 2400 block of Foothill Boulevard, La Crescenta. A woman told deputies she left her business office at around 9 p.m., leaving a plastic container containing various tools and cords outside in an unsecured area. When she returned the next day at around 7 a.m., she discovered the items had gone missing. In her search for the items, she noticed a water hose had also gone missing.

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

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