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Surveillance pictures released of hotel thief

March 9, 2010 12:30:15 AM PST
An investigation is under way into a brazen hotel heist that targeted a billionaire couple in Los Angeles for Sunday's Oscar celebrations.The thief made off with thousands of dollars in jewelry from the couple's room at the Four Seasons in Fairfax Village. The bold burglar was willing to go into the same hotel room with the victims while they were there to make off with the jewelry, and investigators believe he has done it before.

The burglary at the Four Seasons on Doheny Drive happened on Friday night. The suspect posed as a hotel employee and told the victims he needed to check an air vent problem in their room, and then stole the couple's jewelry.

Jose Fanjul, one of the richest men in the world, told the New York Post that he and his wife were not hurt, but the thief got away with very valuable and very sentimental pieces of jewelry.

Authorities released surveillance photos from an October heist at the Staples Center that they believe the suspect was involved in. More than $20,000 worth of cash and valuables were stolen from one of the locker rooms during a Clippers exhibition game.

Authorities believe the suspect is also responsible for a number of hotel burglaries, stretching from downtown L.A. to Orange County.

Police hope that new surveillance images from the hotel's elevator will help catch the suspect.

"That's very shocking. It seems very calm in the hotel and it's peaceful, and I had no idea that something like that would ever happen," said a hotel guest Michael Roberts.

"I'm very surprised. It's a beautiful hotel with great service, and I'm shocked about it, and I'm sure they'll do something to correct that problem in the future. I find the service and the security very good here," said another hotel guest Charles Gammal.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, Four Seasons said, "Please be assured that the safety and security of our guests and employees has always been of utmost importance to us. We are working in cooperation with local authorities as they conduct their investigation of the incident."

Though no one has been hurt in any of these hotel heists, authorities want to catch the suspect before he gets more dangerous.


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