A nude thief, an impounded car and a landscaper led police to two suspected burglars they believe are responsible for a string of crimes in Pacific Palisades, city officials confirmed Thursday.
Detectives noted patterns of crimes beginning in August, where burglary suspects would enter homes through unlocked doors and windows, authorities said.
The break for detectives came after 48-year-old Jami Burrows of Porterville was identified in a store video attempting to use stolen credit cards, sources said.
The victims helped identify the woman who was known in the Palisades and Malibu areas as a former landscaper, according to authorities.
Detectives served a warrant in Burrows; home in the 23700 block of Ave. 184 in Porterville on Sept. 17 and found several items they believe are tied to crimes in Malibu and Palisades areas.
Burrows was released from a Tulare County correction facility the same day of her arrest, according to jail records. The bail amount was not made available.
THE NUDE THIEF
Police said they were also investigating a separate burglary crew working the West L.A. area. Witnesses said they saw these suspects driving a black Kia.
Four days earlier, police believe a member of this other crew, later identified as 23-year-old Drew Gipson, attempted to break into a home in the 700 block of Kingman Ave. on Sept. 13, according to police.
Detectives believe Gipson, after stripping off his clothes, swam through a wading pool to enter the home but was confronted by the homeowner.
He was seen fleeing the area in a black Kia. The homeowner was not injured.
Gipson also left his wallet behind in some other forgotten clothes, police explained.
Later the same day, Gipson was seen foraging through a second victim’s vehicle in the area but when he spotted responding officers he fled. This time leaving his vehicle behind too–the Kia.
The criminal genius was arrested after showing up at the West L.A. police station in the hopes of picking up his impounded Kia. He is currently being held at North County Correctional Facility in Castaic in lieu of $50,000, according to jail records.
MORE WORK TO BE DONE
Detectives are now working to link Gipson to other burglaries in the area and to crack down on other crews, city officials said.
“This exceptional work by the LAPD’s West LA Burglary Detectives has made the Pacific Palisades neighborhood safer and demonstrates to would-be criminals that if you commit burglary here you will be caught, and you will be prosecuted,” City Councilmember Mike Bonin said in an email. “These arrests are another excellent example of the smart, driven and neighborhood-focused police work that families in LA deserve.”
But police cautioned that even with the arrests of these two suspected burglars, the Palisades continues to be targeted.
City officials are asking anyone with information about these crimes to contact the West L.A. police station at (310)444-0702.