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'Blond Scammer' Suspect Re-arrested For ID Theft At Court Date

Pilar Abalos, 43, of Poway, a woman being investigated for a rash of identity thefts in the Santa Clarita Valley, and now also in Ventura County, made her court appearance at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday.


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And after pleading not guilty in San Fernando, she was promptly re-arrested.

“She was in court today for an arraignment and plea,” according to a court official.

Abalos is being charged with two counts of identity theft and six counts second degree commercial burglary, according to court records.

Abalos is suspected of being involved in an ID theft ring whereby wallets of victims -- whose appearance is similar to Abalos -- are stolen, and then Abalos allegedly used her likeness to steal more from the victims.

“We have a case on her in Ventura County,” said Sgt. Alan Hartkop, “and there are some other charges, but I don’t know exactly how many counts.”

Abalos was still in the process of booking, which can take up to six hours, as of noon Wednesday.

Hartkop confirmed that Abalos was arrested shortly after her appearance. He did not have a court date for her Ventura County case, yet.

“We do work in conjunction with other agencies all the time in investigations,” Hartkop said, noting that this was being handled as a separate investigation. “We’re still preliminarily involved in this right now.”

This is the second arrest in the case.

On Feb. 5, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Valerie Lynne Ray, 54, of Los Angeles, on charges related to three local incidents.

Detectives believe Ray is the person who physically stole the wallets, and Abalos then used her likeness to commit identity fraud and steal large amounts of money.

Ray is being charged with six counts in connection with a crime ring that believed to have stolen from Crescenta Valley, Ventura County and local residents, said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.


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UPDATED STORY Mon, 03/04/2013 - 10:36am
A suspect accused of preying on white, blond grocery store shoppers made a $220,000 bail Sunday afternoon, but will be due back at Los Angeles Superior Court in San Fernando on March 27 to face six charges.  

Pilar Abalos, 42, of Poway, is accused of three counts of burglary and three counts of ID theft in a case that saw tens of thousands of dollars stolen from different victims who all had a similar appearance to Abalos.

Detectives believe that Abalos had an accomplice, Valerie Lynne Ray, 54, of Los Angeles, steal the wallets from the victims, and then Abalos would take their credit card information to stores and banks and steal their money.

A detective with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station was responsible for the capture of a suspect who is being looked at in cases throughout Southern California.

Abalos was recently arrested by the Inglewood Police Department on an unrelated case and posted a $100,000 bond, according to Sheriff’s Department arrest record.

“Through hours of investigation and diligent police work, a detective with the Sheriff’s Department was able to catch this suspect who is thought to have scammed thousands of dollars from victims throughout Southern California, including the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Abalos is currently being held on $220,000 bail at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.

She was booked there at 12:52 p.m. Saturday, according to arrest records. A Sheriff’s Department spokesman for the Lynwood facility could not identify the arresting agency.

This is the second arrest in the case.

On Feb. 5, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Valerie Lynne Ray, 54, of Los Angeles, on charges related to three local incidents.

Detectives believe Ray is the person who physically stole the wallets, and Abalos then used her likeness to commit identity fraud and steal large amounts of money.

Ray is being charged with six counts in connection with a crime ring that believed to have stolen from Crescenta Valley, Ventura County and local residents, said Dubin.

"We believe the woman we have in custody is the woman who physically stole the wallets and IDs," Dubin said. "She then gave those IDs and wallets to the (person of interest)."

Dubin added that there are likely additional counts pending from other cities.

"The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detective assigned to investigate this incident partnered with neighboring law enforcement agencies, local news media and the community we serve in order to solve this case," Dubin said.

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ORIGINAL STORY
A Saturday crime spree left three women victimized of thousands of dollars after a suspect targeting white, blond women in grocery stores stole their wallets, credit card information and IDs, a Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station official said Thursday.

One of the victims had brown hair, and due to the fact that she didn't resemble the victim closely enough, the victim was able to prevent further theft.

 

“They went to a gas station, numerous banks and numerous jewelry stores,” said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

"Three white women were preyed upon from various grocery stores in the Santa Clarita area,” Dubin said, adding that all of the victims had a close resemblance to the female suspect.  

Deputies are searching for one suspect and a person of interest who was a passenger in the SUV. The passenger was a man who was with the woman filling up a vehicle at local gas stations.

“We need the public’s help in finding out who this woman is, who the man is, and where there car is,” he said. There's a potential suspect that was in a black sedan seen at the gas station with the suspects.

The car that they were seen driving, according to video surveillance captured at local gas stations, was a silver Cadillac SUV for the woman and a male passenger. The third person of interest was in a black sedan that may be a Honda or a BMW -- the model of the car is difficult to make out on the security-camera footage, Dubin said.

“So these wallets were stolen, and we have some surveillance photos -- they went into banks using the IDs and withdrew thousands of  dollars,” he said.

Soon after the report surfaced, sheriff’s deputies from the Thousand Oaks station reported that a similar crime took place Jan. 10. The incidents are believed to be related, according to Sheriff's Station officials.