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Cases against alleged scammer put off

42-year-old woman charged with identity theft is accused of stealing wallets from women in SCV and V

Posted: November 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Criminal cases in two counties against a woman suspected of being the so-called “blond scammer” — one in a ring of thieves who lifted women’s wallets from shopping carts and immediately charged expensive items on their credit cards — have been put off until the new year.

Pilar Raine Abalos, 42, of Poway appeared in Ventura County Superior Court last Monday and in San Fernando Superior Court last Wednesday on identify theft charges, but judges decided to postpone their respective cases until 2014, court officials said.

A preliminary hearing was to have started last week in San Fernando. In Ventura, prosecutors who initially anticipated an “early disposition” and resolution in their case have now scheduled it for Jan. 27.

By then the Santa Clarita Valley aspect of the case will be a year old. In January, Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies responded to three separate reports of women whose wallets were stolen while they were shopping in local grocery stores.

Following the thefts, stolen credit cards were used to obtain cash advances at various banks and to purchase expensive jewelry — sometimes before the women managed to get to the check stand to pay for their groceries.

Abalos is the suspect in those three Santa Clarita Valley thefts and in other crimes in the two counties, including charges of identity theft and burglary.

Detectives have said they believe the woman suspected in the thefts — described as a blond — was working with an accomplice.

The person described as the leader of that ring, 54-year-old Los Angeles resident Valerie Lynne Ray, has already entered a plea of no contest in San Fernando Superior Court and been sentenced to three years in prison.
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