By Mary O’KEEFE
On Saturday at about 8 p.m., a 27-year-old woman was running on the Crescenta Valley High School track when she noticed two men standing near the field. She continued her run and a short time later, was approached by one of the men. The other man had left the area. The man asked if he could use her cellphone to make a call. At first she was hesitant but then agreed. She dialed the phone number for him and handed him her iPhone. As he spoke on the phone she positioned herself between him and the gate at the end of the field. The said something on the phone then ran past her toward the gate, taking her phone with him. He exited the gate onto Altura Avenue and go into a black Toyota four-runner. The man is described as Hispanic, about 18 years old, 5’11” tall and weighing about 170 pounds. At the time of the incident he was wearing a red and black plaid sweatshirt, blue jeans and a baseball cap with a unidentified sports logo on it.
This would be the third cellphone stolen from the hands of owners in the last week. On Jan. 12, two Rosemont students reported having their cellphones stolen while walking home from school.
The first incident on that Thursday occurred at little after 3 p.m. at La Crescenta Avenue and El Caminito.
A 12-year-old girl was walking home with a friend. She reported that someone had grabbed her cellphone from her hands and fled.
The second incident occurred about 3:30p.m. at Rosemont and Mayfield avenues. A 12-year-old boy was walking southbound on Rosemont Avenue when a teenage boy came up behind him and grabbed his iPhone cellphone. The Rosemont student attempted to hold onto the phone but the suspect ripped it from his hands and took off running westbound on Mayfield Avenue.
The boy along with others students ran after the suspect but lost him as he ran left, heading southbound, on La Crescenta Avenue.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s from the Crescenta Valley Station were called and they searched the area without finding the suspect.
Sgt. Ray Harley said that due to the similar descriptions of the suspect it is believed they are one in the same.
The suspect is described as a 14-to-16-year-old boy, 5’7” to 5’9” tall from 130 to 150 pounds. Both victims said he was wearing a black T-shirt. One victim described the suspect as wearing khaki shorts and the other victim described the suspect wearing a black ball cap and black pants.
Harley advised students to take some precautions while walking.
“They should not walk alone. Try to walk with as many friends as possible,” he said. “The more the better.”
He added the young female victim was walking with a friend but several feet separated them.
He also advised kids to be aware of their surroundings and not use anything that might obscure their hearing like earphones or ear buds.
“It not a good idea to walk down the streets with ear buds [listening to music],” he said. “You can’t hear cars around you or emergency [vehicle sirens] and you aren’t aware that someone is approaching you from behind.”
And he reminds everyone to contact the sheriff’s department immediately.
“This gives us a chance of finding the [suspect],” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact CV Sheriff’s Station (818) 248-3464.