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UPDATE: Suspected ‘blond scammer’ taken into custody by Ventura deputies

Adds woman booked in Ventura County

Posted: March 27, 2013 12:49 p.m.
Updated: March 27, 2013 6:58 p.m.
This surveillance photo provided by the Sheriff's Department shows a woman identified as the "blond scammer." This surveillance photo provided by the Sheriff's Department shows a woman identified as the "blond scammer."
<p>This surveillance photo provided by the Sheriff's Department shows a woman identified as the "blond scammer."</p>

SAN FERNANDO — A woman suspected of being the “blond scammer” — who stalked other women at grocery stores, stealing their wallets and then using their IDs to obtain cash or expensive jewelry — appeared briefly in court today only to be arrested by Ventura County sheriff’s deputies, a bailiff said.

Pilar Raine Abalos, 42, of Poway walked into San Fernando Superior Court on Wednesday and was told her case was put over for a later date, the bailiff said.

She then walked out of the courtroom and into the waiting arms of deputies.

“Two deputies from Ventura picked her up,” the bailiff said. “She’s on her way to Ventura.”

Abalos was booked into custody Wednesday in Ventura, Ventura Superior Court documents show.

The same court papers indicate she’s accused of a violation that occurred in Ventura County Jan. 25 — less than two weeks after deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station first reported local wallet-stealing incidents.

In Ventura, Abalos faces charges of identity theft — in particular, obtaining credit with others’ identification — as well as forgery and two counts of second-degree commercial burglary, court papers show.

Abalos and another woman were arrested separately last month on suspicion of running a scam in the Santa Clarita Valley. But it was Inglewood Police Department officers who first picked up Abalos.

A day after her arrest on Valentine’s Day, Abalos was booked by “other state agencies” and placed into custody at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, according to the Sheriff’s Department Inmate Information Center.
Abalos then posted bail with a promise to appear in San Fernando Superior Court on Wednesday.

She and the other woman arrested in the case — Valerie Lynne Ray, 54, of Los Angeles — are suspected by Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s detectives of being perpetrators in a scam in which grocery store shoppers had their wallets stolen.

Immediately after lifting the wallets, the thieves used the women’s credit cards to collect cash or charge expensive jewelry.

Santa Clarita Valley deputies first reported the scam in mid-January after responding to three separate incidents on Jan. 12, all regarding female victims reporting their wallets stolen, spokesman Josh Dubin said.

Another woman fell victim to a similar scam recently in a clothing story. In that case, the woman was distracted while someone apparently hiding under a rack of clothing stole her wallet and gift cards.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt





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