The suspect entered a Boost Mobile store in the 19700 block of Vanowen Street, near Corbin Avenue, about 12:25 p.m. Tuesday, and asked a clerk to show him new iPhones, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
When the clerk refused to show the man new phones but instead directed him to tethered display models, the suspect, who is black, accused the employee of being racist, police said.
“Fearing being labeled a racist, the salesperson presented the new iPhones to the suspect,” according to a police statement. “Once the phones were in his reach, the suspect grabbed the phones and fled the business.”
The suspect used the same tactic about 2:50 p.m. Tuesday at a cellphone store in Oxnard and stole Apple and Samsung Galaxy S8 phones, the LAPD reported.
A security camera captured images of the suspect, who is believed to be 22-28 years old. He is further described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, 150-170 pounds with short black hair.
Anyone with information about the thefts was urged to call (818) 756- 5848 to speak with Detective Abbinanti.
After-hours and weekend calls should be directed to (877) LAPD-24-7. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222- TIPS.
—City News Service
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