STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Police call them distraction robbers — one distracts the clerk while the other steals.
CBS2’s Andrea Fujii shows the compelling video of one recent robbery to show just how the scam works.
Pair hits a Studio City store – one distracts the clerk – the other starts stealing. Fujii has compelling video on just how the scammers operate.
They looked like any other pair of shoppers — only inside this Studio City clothing store shopping was the last thing on their minds at People’s Project LA.
“They acted like they were shopping,” said victim Amanda Tibbetts.
Cameras caught the duo from every angle.
They were scoping the store as well as trying to determine where employees, like manager Tibbetts, kept their belongings..
“It feels pretty violated, it feels kinda eerie, especially when you know they’re watching you,” Tibbetts said.
After shopping a while the female nods her head to a male partner. He then walks to the back of the store after Tibbetts went to help a customer.
He goes to the closet and grabs Tibbetts’ wallet — then places it in the back of his pants.
“Within an hour after they left here, they had already gone to spend everything that was in there,” Tibbetts said.
Fortunately, Tibbetts’ credit cars companies recognized the charges were fraudulent. But the duo did spend hundreds in gift cards and took jewelry that she kept in her wallet.
“They took so much from someone they don’t know. A single mom who has nothing but that for her and her child,” Tibbetts said
The LAPD say distraction robberies are common.And while they don’t have proof this duo is responsible for other crimes, they say the fact they were so organized, suggests they have committed more.
Tibbetts hopes they are stopped sooner than later.
“It’s just about catching somebody who’s going behind your back doing such horrible things to people,” said Tibbetts.