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Police: Vehicle Dent Repair Scam Artists Targeting Studio City Parking Lots

The following information was supplied by the North Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Los Angeles police arrested a man Dec. 4 in a Studio City grocery store parking lot for removing a dent to a vehicle without the owner's permission, with the victim claiming the man threatened harm if he wasn't paid for the service.

Senior Lead Officer Michael Lewis said the district attorney's office refused to file criminal charges against the suspect but wants the community to be aware of the scam.

Lewis said these scam artists are "a real problem," where they approach people in parking lots, usually grocery stores, offering to remove dents from vehicles.

"They seem to target the elderly," Lewis said.

With the Dec. 4 case, Lewis had a Dec. 3 report at the Ralph's Supermarket at Coldwater Canyon and Ventura Boulevard, in which the suspect completed some work on the victim's car without the victim giving them permission. During the dispute of whether or not the victim gave the suspects permission one of them lifted his shirt, which displayed a knife in his waistband, and told the victim he did not want any problems.

Since the victim felt threatened they gave the suspects money.

Lewis added he knew the scam artsits targeted individuals at that Ralph's, and on Dec. 4 one of the suspects came back and he was arrested. Along with a robbery detective, Lewis interviewed the suspect and "he admitted almost everything the victim did, except for any weapon or threat or harm."

For the latest crime reports, click here.

Do not take a Lane out on Lankershim for bikes December 09, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Help this dose suppujresd me at all Studio city has higher crime then NOrth Hollywood.
Allan December 10, 2013 at 09:11 AM
To bad that in the state of CA it's illegal for the victim to have pulled up his shirt exposing his weapon. What's the old story about bringing a knife to a gun fight.

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