[symple_googlemap title=”19700 block of Ventura Boulevard” location=”19700 block of Ventura Boulevard” height=”300″ zoom=”15″]

Two alleged “prolific” burglars in the San Fernando Valley were arrested overnight, including the so-called Panty Bandit, who’s accused of targeting nearly a dozen lingerie stores, police reported Thursday.

Carlos Olivas, 35, “was arrested in the act of hitting his 11th San Fernando Valley women’s intimate apparel store, this one in the 19700 block of Ventura Boulevard,” said Los Angeles police Capt. Paul Vernon of the Topanga Station.

Olivas was booked on suspicion of commercial burglary, and his bail was expected to be set at $200,000, Vernon said.

“We had dubbed this man the Panty Bandit,” said Detective Merrill Dunn of the Topanga Detective Division.”His penchant for breaking into lingerie shops told us this was a matter of organized retail crime, which means he’s reselling the merchandise to fences or shipping it out of the country.”

The lingerie shop burglaries began on Jan. 21 with a break-in at Les Corset Lingerie in Woodland Hills, which has been hit twice since then, most recently on Sept. 19, Dunn said.

“The suspect also hit Romantix Inc. — twice on Sherman Way and once on Van Nuys Boulevard,” Dunn said. “All told, the burglaries amount to over $10,000 in loss, not including the damage caused by smashing glass windows and doors to gain entry.”

On Wednesday night, the owner of the Excitement store was alerted to an intruder and called 911, Dunn said.

“A sergeant arrived quickly and detained (Olivas) outside the store,” Dunn said. “It was the second time since late August that the ‘Panty Bandit’ had hit this store.”

In an unrelated burglary Wednesday night, officers answered an alarm call at the Hollister store at the Topanga Mall, Dunn said.

“They were able to verify a burglary had occurred and got a description of a repeat suspect from the store manager,” Dunn said.

Officers searched the area and arrested Marco Naranjo, 21, about a mile from the business, Dunn said.

“He still had some of the stolen items, but he had already unloaded much of it to a local fence,” Dunn alleged. “Part of our investigation will be to follow the trail of the merchandise.”

Naranjo was booked on suspicion of commercial burglary, and his bail was set at $80,000.

–City News Service 

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