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Alleged ‘blond scammer’ pleads not guilty

Posted: May 1, 2013 2:38 p.m.
Updated: May 1, 2013 2:38 p.m.

SAN FERNANDO — The woman suspected of being the so-called “blond scammer” — part of a ring that stole women’s wallets from shopping carts and impersonated credit card holders to obtain cash or expensive jewelry — entered a plea of not guilty in court Wednesday to charges of identity theft and burglary.

Pilar Raine Abalos, 42, of Poway appeared in San Fernando Superior Court Wednesday and entered a plea of not guilty before San Fernando Superior Court Judge Michael O’Gara.

Wearing a black pin-striped jacket and flat gray shoes, the blond-haired Abalos walked from the courtroom audience to the bench, where she was arraigned on the charges against her.

Abalos, who posted bail and is not in custody, is charged with two counts of identity theft and six counts of burglary.

O’Gara ordered her to appear back in court next month to set a date for her preliminary hearing.

The last time she appeared in San Fernando Superior Court, Abalos walked out of the courtroom and into the waiting arms of Ventura County sheriff’s deputies, who took her to Ventura and booked her into custody.

Once in Ventura, Abalos again posted bail. She was released on $50,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court May 13 on charges similar to those pending in San Fernando Superior Court.

On March 2, Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station notified local media that Abalos is the suspect in a series of thefts that occurred in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Three female victims stated they had their wallets removed from their purses while shopping at local grocery stores in January, Dubin said.

Following the wallet thefts, the suspect used the victims’ credit cards to obtain cash advances at banks and to purchase — or attempt to purchase — expensive jewelry. Investigators said they believe the woman — described only as blond — was working with an accomplice.

Last month, 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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