Thieves allegedly ransack a California Macy’s, then flee from cops by faking heart attack and calling rideshare vehicle

News & Politics

A group of four thieves allegedly faked a heart attack and tried to hail a rideshare vehicle in a failed attempt to flee from police after ransacking a store in southern California.

Police said they were called after thieves struck a Macy’s department store at about noon Tuesday at a mall in Brea, a city in Orange County about 33 miles south of Los Angeles.

When the thieves tried to flee in a getaway car, police said they gave chase but lost the car after they drove “recklessly” to escape.

The thieves abandoned their car near Laurel Elementary School, which led to a lockdown at the school, and then ran into a dentist’s office nearby.

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One of the suspects called for a rideshare vehicle to pick them up, but while they were waiting, they were questioned by the staff at the dental office.

“We were having lunch and they came in the front door and this woman acted like she was having a heart attack,” said Dr. Brooks Larson, the dentist.

“I responded, going through my emergency protocols,” he continued. “We thought we were treating a heart attack victim, but eventually she started feeling better and said, ‘Oh, I feel much better,’ and jumped out and ran out the front door.”

They tried to get into the rideshare vehicle, but police surrounded the car and arrested them.

An investigation led police to determine that the rideshare driver was not involved in the alleged theft.

Brea Police Department Lt. Chris Harvey told KTLA-TV that it was not uncommon for criminals to call rideshare vehicle as a means to escape after a crime.

“It’s never a pleasant experience, obviously, to have the police detain you at gunpoint and think you are a suspect of something when you’re not,” said Harvey.

Officials believe a false emergency phone call about a bank robbery at the same time as the theft was likely an attempt by the thieves to distract law enforcement during their caper.

Police identified the suspects as Louie Velasco of South Gate, Jocelyn Mendoza of Simi Valley, and Sherry Rogers and Marlon Deleon from Los Angeles.

They were charged with theft, conspiracy, and evading police, among other charges.

Here’s a local news report about the strange incident:

Thieves call rideshare after ransacking Macy’s

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