On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 1:39 p.m., the Ventura Police Department responded to Vons, 115 W. Main Street, to contact the victim of a theft by false pretenses.
During the investigation the officers learned the victim, who is Spanish speaking only, was in the downtown area, when she was approached first by the female suspect. The female, who spoke to the victim in Spanish, told the victim she needed help with getting an identification card to be able to cash a winning lottery ticket worth $460,000.
While the victim and female suspect were talking, the male suspect who was acting as an unrelated passerby stopped and joined the conversation. The male took the ticket and pretended to call the number on the back of the lottery ticket. He told the victim the ticket was in fact a winning ticket. The male suspect said to the victim to avoid additional taxes on the winnings they would have to bring $37,000 in cash to the lottery office. He told the victim he could go to his bank and would be able to provide half of that sum, if the victim agreed to come up with the other half. The female suspect told the victim for helping them cash the lottery ticket she would get an additional $5000.00.
The victim then drove the suspects a few blocks away, where the male suspect got out, claiming he was going to get money from his bank. He returned a short time later with a large amount of cash and showed it to the victim. The victim then drives to the Vons shopping center and withdrawals $8000 cash from the bank inside. Once outside the victim gives the male suspect the money. The female suspect then feigns an illness and asks the victim if she could buy something from the store, so she returns to Vons. As the victim is entering the store, she realizes the suspects left the area with her money. Officers learned the male and female suspects had entered the nearby Burger King shortly after the theft, and were able to obtain surveillance video of the suspects. The female suspect is described as being Hispanic, 33 years, wearing a white baseball cap, dark hair, black long sleeve shirt and black pants carrying a black purse. She was Spanish speaking. The male suspect is described as being Hispanic, 60′s, wearing a dark colored hat, light colored long sleeve shirt and dark pants. He was Spanish speaking.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this crime and can possibly identify the suspects from the video surveillance is urged to call the Ventura Police Department at 339-4488, or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. If your information leads to an arrest, you could receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.