Topanga Canyon News
Scammers Damaging Seniors' Vehicles For Cash
By Daniel Antolin
May 8, 2011 - 3:50:51 AM

WEST HILLS—On Tuesday, May 3, Topanga police are informing residents who frequent the Fallbrook Center area in the West Hills, particularly those of elderly age, about a possible ongoing scam involving two suspects who have allegedly exploited vehicle damage that they themselves have caused to make some quick cash.

Described as a male and female in their 30s with dark complexions, the suspects have allegedly scratched the unattended vehicles of elderly individuals. When the elderly individuals later return to find their vehicles scratched, the two suspects allegedly have offered to buff out or fill in the damage on the spot for $20 to $30.

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Laemmle Fallbrook 7 movie theater in the Fallbrook Center. Photo by Kibiwot Limo
One instance of the scam was reported to police as having occurred near the Laemmle Falbrook 7 movie theater, which is located within the Fallbrook Center, on Wednesday, April 27 when senior citizens were able to purchase tickets for all shows that played before 6 p.m. for $4.50 per person. This is a weekly special the movie theater, which screens independent films, offers.

It is not clear from a police advisory sent out to local residents on April 29 how many senior's vehicles were targeted near the movie theater.

As of May 5, LAPD Officer Sam Sabra told Canyon News that there have been no further developments in the case after his recent patrols of the area.

Laemmle Falbrook 7 staff told Canyon News that they had not seen or heard anything regarding the scam occurring near the movie theater.

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Fallbrook Center businesses. Photo courtesy of blogspot.com.
The April 29 police advisory indicates that this possible scam is likely occurring in areas frequented by the elderly within the Fallbrook Center area along Fallbrook Ave between Victory Boulevard and Vanowen Street, which is a half-mile block comprised of about 25 businesses and ample parking spaces.

Thus far there is no indication that this is an ongoing scam that is occurring throughout the immediate area.

Fallbrook Center management and security told Canyon News that they had not seen or heard anything regarding the scam occurring near their locations. Neither did managers and staff of the more than 25 businesses located in the Fallbrook Center area between Victory Boulevard and Vanowen Street that Canyon News contacted.

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WalMart in Fallbrook Center area. Photo courtesy of blogspot.com
These included businesses such as Target, The Home Depot, Kohl's, Walmart, Ross Dress For Less, Yankee Doodles and Burlington Coat Factory, just to provide the names of those businesses that offer the most ample parking spaces where the vehicles of the elderly might be targeted.

Employees at the Sports Chalet and Road Runner Sports, which are close to each other albeit separated by a Hometown Buffet, also told Canyon News that they had not seen or heard anything about the scam taking place near their businesses, but that they had heard about a similar scam taking place in the area one to two years ago.

An employee at one of the aforementioned 25 businesses mentioned to Canyon News that someone was going around a while ago claiming that he could secure for $20 any individual auto part.

Anyone who has information about this possible ongoing scam can contact the LAPD Topanga Area Front Desk at 818-756-4800.

Officers of the Topanga Community Police Station protect and serve the West Hills, Canoga Park, Winnetka and Woodland Hills neighborhoods.


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