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'Stroller Bandits' ID'd, 1 remains at large

June 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
One of the alleged "Stroller Bandits" was arrested on Friday, accused of stealing wallets in downtown Los Angeles. One other woman remains at large.

Police say 51-year-old Norma Reyes of Los Angeles and 55-year-old Bertha Vargas of West Covina are professional pickpockets and thieves.

Vargas was taken into custody after police received a number of tips.

Two women were caught on surveillance video on June 9 stealing from baby strollers. When the video was made public, authorities said the tips poured in.

Police said the women took advantage of the crowds in busy stores in downtown L.A.

"I think it's an easier target because people have the tendency to think that their property is attached to the store, and if they step away from it for a second, it'll probably be OK," said LAPD Det. Michael Mazzacano.

Reyes remains at large. Detectives believe she is hiding in the area.

Police believe the two women are responsible for at least six thefts from strollers .

Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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