‘Organized’ Theft Ring Targeting Expensive Fragrances at SoCal Cosmetics Stores: LAPD

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Police asked the public's help Friday in sniffing out a group of "organized" thieves who they say have been targeting cosmetics stores in the Los Angeles area to steal pricey perfumes and costly colognes in recent months.

The string of crimes took place between June and October, generally between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Department said in a written statement.

Brian Keith Upton, 29, left, and James Stephen Henry, 31, right, sought in connection with an organized theft ring targeting Southern California cosmetics stores, are pictured in photos released by the Los Angeles Police Department on Dec. 13, 2019.
Brian Keith Upton, 29, left, and James Stephen Henry, 31, right, sought in connection with an organized theft ring targeting Southern California cosmetics stores, are pictured in photos released by the Los Angeles Police Department on Dec. 13, 2019.

"The suspects entered the businesses with empty back packs or shopping bags and concealed high dollar fragrances in their empty bags," the statement said. "The suspects would then leave the store without paying for the merchandise."

Eleven similar heists have been reported within Los Angeles, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of losses, officials said. They took place at the Beverly Center, The Grove and in Century City, according to the police statement.

Investigators suspect the same group is behind similar thefts at cosmetic stores in Glendale, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Pasadena and Santa Monica.

Two suspects in the series of thefts have been identified as Brian Keith Upton, 29, and James Stephen Henry, 31. Warrants have been issued for their arrests.

It was not clear how many additional suspects may be involved.

Anyone with information was urged to contact the LAPD at 877-527-3247. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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