In recent days, the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) responded to a flurry of criminal activity on the city’s streets.
On May 17, BHPD officers arrested three suspects in connection with the theft of a catalytic converter from a parked vehicle.
On June 4, two suspects were arrested for allegedly stealing purses and their contents.
And on June 6, BHPD officers responded to an armed robbery in the 200 block of South Hamilton Drive.
The purse-snatching incidents occurred on June 3, between 8:50-10:10 p.m., at two restaurants within the 400 block of North Canon Drive. According to BHPD, a pair of perpetrators either crept behind the victims or used techniques to distract the victims before taking off with their belongings. The victims had set their purses down or hung them on the back of their chairs.
The stolen goods were valued at $10,200, according to BHPD.
While local police did not disclose the names of the restaurants where the thefts occurred, local news outlet KTLA posted video showing two people involved in a purse-snatching at Wally’s on Canon Drive.
BHPD identified the suspects as Jenny Carolina Pineda, 40, and Edeson Sebastian Ramirez, 18.
Cameras caught their license plate, which led to their arrest on June 4 in Fontana.
Authorities are charging the two with commercial burglary and criminal conspiracy. Pineda and Ramirez posted $20,000 bail and were released pending court proceedings.
BHPD Public Information Officer Lt. Reginald Evans advised Beverly Hills residents and visitors to be mindful of their belongings when enjoying the city’s attractions.
“The City of Beverly Hills welcomes residents and visitors alike to partake in the city’s stores and restaurants. While doing so, it is important that citizens are always aware of their surroundings and the location of their belongings,” Evans said. “This would aid in the prevention of opportunistic criminal behavior.”
CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT
Catalytic converter theft continues to be a problem, with the latest high-profile incident in the city occurring in broad daylight.
According to BHPD, a trio of “thieves were caught red-handed removing a catalytic converter by the [vehicle’s] owner. The suspects made a run for it, but our Real Time Watch Center and Virtual Patrol Officers located the vehicle from the victim’s description.”
While the suspects fled, BHPD said, a motor officer and additional BHPD units pursued in “a slow speed pursuit due to heavy traffic on the freeway. When the suspect vehicle tried to exit, our skilled BHPD units executed a flawless Pursuit Intervention Technique maneuver.”
The immobilization of the vehicle led to the suspects’ arrests.
BHPD identified the suspects as Francisco Perez, 44, of Toluca, Mexico; Elizon Munoz Hernandez-Munoz, 44, of Tijuana, Mexico; and Carlos Benny Castillo, 40, of Los Angeles.
Authorities are charging Perez with evading police, grand theft and an outstanding warrant, while Hernandez-Munoz and Castillo are being charged with grand theft and possession of burglary tools.
The victim, meanwhile, was described as a public-school teacher who needed help to pay for his vehicle’s repair. The Beverly Hills Police Officers Association stepped up and provided financial support.
Officers located the stolen catalytic converter inside the suspects’ car.
The June 6 armed robbery incident occurred around 6:40 p.m.
Officers said a 29-year-old male victim was robbed at gunpoint while exiting an apartment building elevator near Hamilton Drive and Gregory Way.
BHPD Public Information Officer Evans told media the suspect approached the victim from behind, pointed a handgun and demanded jewelry.
The estimated loss was $100.
As of press time, no suspect was located, according to police.