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Two-Woman Team of 'Distraction Burglars' Reportedly Resurfaces

Seniors at two homes in Sherman Oaks approached by women claiming to need help, resident says.

A two-woman team of "distraction burglars" resumed its attempts to prey on senior citizens in Sherman Oaks this weekend, but this time there was a new twist: The women had a child with them, according to witnesses.

Stephanie Parke, who lives on Emelita Street in North Sherman Oaks,  said the latest incident occurred Saturday at about 12:30 p.m.

The women tried to gain entry into two homes, according to Parke, who reported the incidents to the Neighborhood Watch in the area north of the 101 Freeway.

"In the first attempt, only one woman got out of the car and went to the door of an older single woman, claiming to have car trouble, cellphone supposedly not working, and could she come in and use the phone," Parke said.

"When she was turned down, they pulled into the driveway of the elderly woman next door," Parke said.

"This time, both women and a toddler got out of the car," she said. She described the women as "both brunettes, one has waist-length hair, the other long hair pinned up, fair complexions, no accents, in their 20s."

"They talked to the neighbor over her gate, still saying they had car trouble and the Auto Club service would take 25 minutes. They claimed one was pregnant, and could she come in and use the restroom," Parke said.

"They were still trying to get in when I came out. I got part of their license number and they left quickly after that," Parke said.

In her report to the Neighborhood Watch, Parke said, "I think they were casing the neighborhood on foot, without the toddler, about 3 or 4 days earlier.  The car is an older Volvo, 4 door, very dark, and California license #5BG... Calls have been made to the Van Nuys PD, no response in 24 hours."

Police in Sherman Oaks have been alerting residents about two women who have been attempting what officers call "distraction burglaries."

In January, an elderly woman in the 5600 block of Natick Avenue was robbed when she allowed a woman into her backyard while an accomplice got into the house and stole jewelry and other valuables, detectives said.

Although police have warned residents not to let anyone they don't know into their homes, elderly residents may still be unaware of how the women operate, police said.

Anyone with information about the women can call Los Angeles Police Department Detective Dunn at 818-374-7769. 

Pat May 31, 2011 at 07:59 AM
The first article about these women describes them as being either Hispanic or Middle Eastern, speaking a language that did not sound like Spanish, and occasionally having an infant named "Star" with them. Now there's a new description of them as fair-skinned brunettes speaking without accents, travelling with a toddler. This suggests several possibilities: 1). These ladies are skilled actresses who know how to use wigs, body make-up, and dialects; 2). There's another two-woman team of distraction burglars operating independently; 3). It's a pair of two-woman distraction burglars who are working together. The toddler probably belongs to one of the women.
Paul June 08, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Probably Gypsies or Travelers by the description and language...
John February 10, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Or 4) they are the same people not described as the same because descriptions can be that way - ask the police. It happens all the time.

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