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6 arrested for Highland Park shoe store robbery

Six people were arrested for organized robberies targeting a Warehouse Shoe Store (WSS) in Highland Park. 

The thefts targeting the store located at 6251 York Blvd. happened on Aug. 22-23, according to L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón. WSS is a national retail chain selling casual sneakers, shoes, clothing and accessories.

The suspects were identified as:
– Abraham Olivares, 25
– Raul Palazuelos aka Raul Perez, 18
– Joe Hernandez, 24
– Henry Thomas, 20
– Michonna Metcalf, 30
– Trista Manuel, 20

On Aug. 22 at around 4 p.m., Olivares and Palazuelos allegedly entered the WSS store aand stole a large amount of shoes and merchandise without paying for it. They fled the scene before police could arrive.

On Aug. 23 at around 1 p.m., Thomas, Metcalf and Manuel allegedly entered the store and began grabbing merchandise before stuffing them into large bags. The suspects fled the scene in a getaway car before police could arrive.

At the time, officers received information that the suspects were spotted near 8th and Alvarado streets in downtown L.A. Within 30 minutes of the reported theft, they were taken into custody by police.

Olivares, Palazuelos, and Hernandez were charged with one felony count of grand theft. All three pled not guilty at an arraignment hearing on Friday. A future preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 7.

Thomas, Metcalf, and Manuel were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit a crime and one count of grand theft. Thomas also is charged with one felony count of second-degree robbery.

All three suspects also pled not guilty at a Saturday arraignment hearing. A future preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8.

“We will not tolerate the brazen actions of those behind organized retail theft,” said District Attorney Gascón. “These crimes harm our community’s sense of security and the vitality of our local businesses. To those contemplating or engaging in these crimes, let me be clear: we are leveraging advanced investigative partnerships to track down and apprehend those responsible. The Organized Retail Crime Taskforce and my office’s Organized Crime Division will continue to bring those committing these crimes to justice.”

The incidents remain under investigation. 

Anyone with information about this case or similar robbery crimes is asked to call the Organized Retail Crime Task Force at 818-374-9420. The public can also call LAPD at 1-877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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