Bikini Heist: L.A. Hooligans Stuff $200,000 in Swimsuits Into White Van, Lead Cops on Crazy Chase Down 405
It took a total of eight -- count 'em, eight -- Los Angeles-area hooligans to carry out the worst bikini heist of all time, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
The whole motley crew of them, including two women (fashion advisers!), were arraigned yesterday morning for allegedly "stealing over $200,000 worth of high-end bathing suits from a Tustin warehouse."
Here's the D.A.'s version of the Memorial Day Weekend bikini heist gone south, with the lulziest bit in bold:
In the early morning hours of May 27, 2012, Morales, Lopez, Bermejo-Cruz, Chamorro, Carpintero, and Montecinos are accused of cutting through a fence and entering Raj Manufacturing near the 2600 block of Dow Avenue in Tustin. Once inside, the defendants are accused of stealing over $200,000 worth of high-end bathing suits from the building and loading it into a white van. Ventura-Moran and Sanchez are accused of patrolling the area in a separate vehicle as lookouts.
At approximately 5:30 a.m., the Tustin Police Department (TPD) observed the suspicious white van during a patrol in the area due to an increase in industrial business thefts. The defendants are accused of fleeing in their van on the Interstate 405. When TPD attempted to stop the van, the defendants are accused of jumping out as it was moving and attempting to flee from officers. TPD with assistance from Costa Mesa Police Department officers were able to arrest the six defendants.
Ventura-Moran and Sanchez are accused of driving northbound on the Interstate 5. TPD officers were able to locate their car and stop them. Both defendants were arrested.
Sergeant Robert Wright at the Tustin Police Department tells LA Weekly that the criminals cut gaping holes in the building's front doors -- possibly with a torch or wire shears. Then, once in the warehouse, they apparently just grabbed any loose suit they could find and threw them all into trash bags.
View Larger Map
Raj Manufacturing describes itself as "the swimwear industry's leading house of fashion." According to its glittering website, it manufactures pricey brands like Guess, Hurley, Reef, Nautica and Luxe.
Any girl who's ever battled bikini season knows: Those flimsy things can run as high as $100 a pop. So the pedo van that Tustin cops just happened to pull over on a vehicle-code violation was probably stuffed with about 1,000 suits.
A roster of the alleged heistmen (and women):
Baldomero Lopez Morales, 28, Downey
Allan Jose Lopez, 25, Downey
Omar Bermejo-Cruz, 27, Downey
Johnathan Alexander Chamorro, 24, Bellflower
Rogasiano Carpintero, 35, Los Angeles
Jose Luis Montecinos, 26, Los Angeles
Guillermina Ventura-Moran, 33, Huntington Park
Norma Yaneli Sanchez, 26, Los Angeles
So close, yet so far. If only those trash bags had made it past Tustin traffic cops, every last sketchy shop on the Venice Beach Boardwalk would be fully stocked for swimsuit season.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.