11 People Arrested In LAPD Black Friday Sting

November 29, 2023 ·

HOLLYWOOD HILLS—The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers worked an undercover sting operation from November 22 and November 25 targeting flash mob thieves and other shoplifters during the Black Friday sales at local retailers resulting in the arrest of 11 individuals.

According to a November 28 press release on the LAPD website, on August 21 the LAPD Commercial Crimes Division set up the Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCT) in response to the “Flash Mob” robberies that have hit local retail establishments in the area.

The ORCT includes plain clothes officers and detectives from Beverly Hills, Burbank, Santa Monica, and Torrance Police Departments.

On November 22, officers from the Hollywood Division focused on the 5500 block of Sunset Boulevard. The following information on the arrests made on the first day of the operation came directly from the aforementioned press release.

“Lisa Lewis, Black female, 55-years-old, of Long Beach, was arrested for 459.5(a)PC- Shoplifting and was cited and released on Zero Bail.

Ryan Karbelk, White male, 39-years-old, of Los Angeles, was arrested for 459.5(a)PC- Shoplifting and was cited and released on Zero Bail.

David Stafford, White male, 46-years-old, of Los Angele, was arrested for 459.5(a) PC-Shoplifting and was cited and released on Zero Bail.

Verastad Derpedrosian, White male, 40-years-old, of Los Angeles, was arrested for 459.5(a)PC- Shoplifting and was cited and released on Zero Bail.

Thomas Kopay, White male, 41-years-old, of Los Angeles, was arrested for 459.5(a) PC-Shoplifting and was cited and released on Zero Bail.

Joyce Ramirez, Hispanic female, 46-years-old, of Los Angeles, was arrested for 459.5(a)PC- Shoplifting and was cited and released on Zero Bail.”

On November 24, 2023, the following people were arrested near the 9800 block of South Alameda Street.

“Dwayne Michael Haley II, Black male, 34-years-old, of Los Angeles, was arrested for 484(a)PC- Petty Theft, booked at 77th Street Jail, and released on Zero Bail.

Cecelia Whettstone, Black male, 25-years-old, of Los Angeles, was arrested for 484(a)PC- Petty Theft and was cited and release on Zero Bail.

Yanah Meekins, Black female, 38-years-old, of Los Angeles, was arrested for 211PC-Robbery. She was booked at 77th Street Jail, under booking number 6715885, and her bail is set at $50,000.00.

Vincasia Love, Black female, 21-years-old, of Los Angeles, was arrested for 211PC- Robbery. She was booked at 77th Street Jail, under booking number 6715867, and has a “No Bail” due to a probation hold.

Ebony Berry, Black female, 32-years-old, of Los Angeles, for 211PC- Robbery. She was booked at 77th Street Jail, under booking number 6715868, and her bail is set at $50,000.00.”

On November 25 officers from the Van Nuys Division were scheduled to work in the area in the 14000 block of Riverside Drive. No arrests were made on this day.

In addition to the eleven arrests, a total of $5,390.00 in stolen merchandise was recovered. The website indicated that the ORCT will be conducting additional operations over the holidays with the end goal of, “identifying, disrupting, and arresting retail thieves”.

By Sharon

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