'Ocean's Eleven Bandit' swipes $10K in goods from Canoga Park store

CANOGA PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Most burglars cover their faces to hide from cameras, but one thief in Canoga Park tried to pull off a stunt that earned him a nickname straight from a movie.

The suspect came up behind a female employee who had just opened the shop at the Village Shopping Center on Topanga Boulevard on the morning of July 6.

Investigators said he threatened her with a knife and forced her to disable the alarm system and lock the doors. Police also said he had a compact semi-automatic handgun.

The suspect then proceeded to take a ladder out from the back room and set it up near the security cameras. He climbed up and spray-painted over the cameras.

Police said the suspect ordered the employee to fill trash bags with designer sunglasses. The clerk was not injured.

"I can't remember a robbery so brazen," LAPD Detective Fernando Avila said in a press release. "Most crooks try to disguise their faces and don't worry about the cameras, but this crook took a different approach, like a scene out of 'Ocean's Eleven.'"

With more than $10,000 worth of merchandise and cash in tow, the suspect, nicknamed by police as the "Ocean's Eleven Bandit," walked out of the store thinking he was in the clear. However, investigators said cameras from the mall's security system outside of the shop captured the thief's face.

"The reality is, today, you can't go anywhere without leaving your image behind," Avila said in the release.

Tuesday, detectives released a still image of the suspect, who they described as being possibly white or Middle Eastern, approximately 6 feet tall, between 25 and 30 years old with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a backward baseball cap and carrying a duffel bag.

If you have any relevant information about this crime, you're urged to contact Detective Avila at (818) 756-3520. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. You can also submit anonymous tips by calling L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
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