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Alleged ‘blond scammer’ goes AWOL in 2 counties

Woman suspected in wallet-theft ring fails to appear in Los Angeles, Ventura courts

Posted: July 9, 2013 4:57 p.m.
Updated: July 9, 2013 4:57 p.m.

A woman suspected of being the so-called “blond scammer” — one in a ring of thieves who lifted women’s wallets from shopping carts and immediately charged expensive items on their credit cards — has failed to appear in court in two counties where she was charged, a District Attorney’s spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

Pilar Raine Abalos, 42, of Poway was scheduled to appear in San Fernando Superior Court on charges of identity theft and burglary June 28, but she failed to show up, spokeswoman Jane Robison said Tuesday.

Abalos was also scheduled to appear June 17 in Ventura County Superior Court on charges of identity theft, forgery, burglary and fraudulent use of a credit card. She also failed to appear there.

Now the Poway woman, who posted bail each of the times she’s been arrested, is scheduled to appear for a bench warrant hearing in both counties, court officials in both jurisdictions said.

The last time she appeared in court was in San Fernando, where Abalos entered a plea of not guilty to charges of identity theft and burglary.

She entered a plea of not guilty before Judge Michael O’Gara on May 1 and was ordered to appear back in court June 28.

Abalos is now scheduled to appear Friday for a bench warrant hearing in San Fernando, Robison said. She has a similar hearing set for July 17 in Ventura.

In January, Santa Clarita Valley residents were first warned about a blond woman who drives a Cadillac SUV and stalks other women at grocery stores, stealing their wallets and using their IDs to obtain cash or expensive jewelry.

Three female victims stated they had their wallets removed from their purses while shopping at Santa Clarita Valley grocery stores in January, Deputy Josh Dubin said.

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies released a grainy surveillance photo of the woman, warning that she steals from others with similar build and features so she can impersonate the victims.

On March 2, Dubin named Abalos as the woman seen in the grainy surveillance image and identified her as the suspect in a series of thefts that occurred in the Santa Clarita Valley.

After her arrest, bail was set at $100,000. After she had posted bail, she was arrested by Ventura County Sheriff’s Department detectives and booked into custody. She was released on $50,000 bond and a promise to appear back in Ventura County Superior Court.

In April, Valerie Lynne Ray, 54, of Los Angeles, identified by prosecutors as the scam’s ringleader, entered a plea of no contest in San Fernando Superior Court and was sentenced to three years in prison.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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