Investigators are seeking the public's help in identifying a man seen snatching women's handbags while they dine at a Venice eatery in videos released Friday by police.
The same man is seen entering Wabi-Sabi sushi at 1635 Abbot Kinney Blvd. twice, each time surreptitiously pilfering a purse, in surveillance footage captured by the restaurant last month.
The first incident occurred on May 25, and the second three days later on May 28, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.
Both times, the man is seen sauntering through the front door in a jean jacket, jeans and T-shirt with tan shoes. He wears his hair parted to the right and combed over, and has a short beard.
Police describe him as a white man with brown hair and a thin build. He appears to be in his 20s or 30s.
The restaurant's director, Brent Moon, said the thief "doesn’t look like anybody that you would necessarily look at and be like, ‘He’s a scumbag.’"
The first time, he entered the sushi joint around 10:15 p.m. and went to the bar area, where he grabbed a women's purse from a chair before running out, officials said.
In the second theft, he went in around 8:15 p.m. This time, he hovered behind the victim for about a minute before swiping her bag and fleeing, according to police.
The man tried to come back a third time, but restaurant's staff was already on to him, according to Moon.
"Homie saw that we were all staring at him and he bolted," Moon said.
But he'd already managed to make off with a Chanel bag worth thousands in one of the first two incidents.
LAPD Officer Tony Im said people should always pay attention to their belongings "because if you’re not, there’s a suspect that is."
Moon had similar advice.
"If you’ve got a really cute Chanel bag, and it’s a poppin’ bar, keep your cute bag on you when you go to the bathroom," he said. "Don’t leave your $4,000 bag just sitting there."
Anyone with information about the suspect or who may have experienced a similar crime can contact LAPD Detective E. Obrecht at 310-482-6356 or Detective L. Glorioso at 310-482-6355.