Second Suspect Arrested In Elder Thefts
Woman finally found after evading capture for months
Widely televised video footage and cooperative investigations have led to the arrest of the second suspect wanted in connection with several incidents targeting senior citizens for theft as they shopped in the Santa Clarita Valley area.
The first suspect, Aesha Deshay Gibson, FB/24, of Lancaster was arrested on March 12, 2007, and has since been sentenced to 3 years in state prison for her role in the crimes. The second suspect, Mishelle Nishee Burrell, FB/30, also of Lancaster, had avoided capture until yesterday.
School Resource Deputies from the Lancaster Sheriff's Station, working in connection with Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Detectives, nabbed the suspect this morning in an undercover operation as she was leaving a graduation ceremony in 2600 block of East Avenue J-4, Lancaster. She was taken into custody without incident. Deputies report that at the time of her arrest today, Burrell allegedly had possession of another identification document believed to belong to an additional identity theft victim.
Back in December of 2006, Gibson and Burrell were identified for questioning in connection with at least two theft incidents in the Santa Clarita Valley. One of the incidents, which was caught on videotape, aired on several local news stations. On the videotape, the suspects appear to distract the unsuspecting elder shopper by asking her for help in selecting items. Once the shopper's attention is diverted, the suspects steal the wallet from her purse which is located in the shopping cart.
"A lot of hard work, help from the public, and cooperative investigations is what put these suspects behind bars," said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. He added, "Now our residents can breathe easier when they are out shopping."
La Berge also wanted to issue a big "Thank you" to his counterpart at Lancaster Sheriff's Station, Captain Carl Deeley and his staff - stating, "They made this thing happen."
Burrell was booked at the Lancaster Sheriff's Station on felony charges of Forgery, Burglary and Grand Theft. She is being held at the Lancaster Sheriff's Station in lieu of $170,000 bail.