Businesses beware of distractions


Businesses in La Crescenta are being warned about two suspects who are distracting employees and stealing items from stores.

On Oct. 19 between 11:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. a man and woman entered Crescenta Valley Flower Mart in the 2900 block of Foothill Boulevard. They distracted the employee by asking for a bouquet of flowers to be made. While the florist was busy, one of the suspects allegedly stole the employee’s purse from behind a counter. They abruptly left the store, telling the employee they would return for the flowers. They never returned.

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, a similar incident happened at Jenny Craig and Little Gym in the 2100 block of Foothill Boulevard. The suspects entered Jenny Craig and allegedly asked an employee about the services.

“While the employee was talking to the woman [suspect], the male asked to use the restroom,” said Sgt. Ray Harley.

A few minutes later the employee noticed the man exiting the employee break room. There appeared to be nothing missing.

The suspects then went next door to Little Gym. A woman was watching her child from the parent area. She left her purse unattended and when she returned it was gone.

None of the employees knew the suspects and told deputies they did not have a child at the gym.

“It appears they are the same suspects in all three incidents,” Harley said. “We want businesses to be aware of [this type of crime].”

Witnesses described the suspects in all three incidents as a male Hispanic in his mid-30s, about six feet tall, heavy set about 200 pounds, with short dark hair. He was wearing casual type clothes. The woman is described as early to mid-30s, 5’3 to 5’5, 130 to 150 pounds and her hair is blonde to brown. She was also wearing casual clothing. She was wearing a large skirt when she was at the Flower Mart that she used to hide the stolen purse under.

Also on Oct. 27, sometime after 2:30 p.m. an employee’s purse was stolen from the back of the store at Flintridge Tailoring in the 900 block of Foothill.

The employee did not see anyone in the store at the time.

“We don’t know if it is the same suspects but it is a similar incident,” Harley said.