A suspect accused of preying on white, blonde grocery store shoppers made a $220,000 bail Sunday afternoon, but will be due back at Los Angeles County Superior Court in San Fernando on March 27 to face six charges.
Pilar Abalos, 42, of Poway, is accused of three counts of burglary and three counts of ID theft in a case that saw tens of thousands of dollars stolen from different victims who all had a similar appearance to Abalos.
Detectives believe Abalos had an accomplice, Valerie Lynne Ray, 54, of Los Angeles, steal the wallets from the victims, and then Abalos would take their credit card information to stores and banks and steal their money.
A detective with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station was responsible for the capture of a suspect who is being looked at in cases throughout Southern California.
Abalos was recently arrested by the Inglewood Police Department on an unrelated case and posted a $100,000 bond, according to Sheriff’s Department arrest record.
“Through hours of investigation and diligent police work, a detective with the Sheriff’s Department was able to catch this suspect who is thought to have scammed thousands of dollars from victims throughout Southern California, including the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
Abalos is currently being held on $220,000 bail at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.
She was booked there at 12:52 p.m. Saturday, according to arrest records. A Sheriff’s Department spokesman for the Lynwood facility could not identify the arresting agency.
This was the second arrest in the case.
On Feb. 5, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Valerie Lynne Ray, 54, of Los Angeles, on charges related to three local incidents.
Detectives believe Ray is the person who physically stole the wallets, and Abalos then used her likeness to commit identity fraud and steal large amounts of money.
Ray is being charged with six counts in connection with a crime ring that believed to have stolen from Crescenta Valley, Ventura County and local residents, said Dubin.
“We believe the woman we have in custody is the woman who physically stole the wallets and IDs,” Dubin said. “She then gave those IDs and wallets to the (person of interest).”
Dubin added that there are likely additional counts pending from other cities.
“The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detective assigned to investigate this incident partnered with neighboring law enforcement agencies, local news media and the community we serve in order to solve this case,” Dubin said.