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Warrant issued for deported 'backpack bandit' [Video]

August 23, 2011 |  1:51 pm

A man authorities nicknamed the "backpack bandit," who snatched necklaces from around women's necks in downtown Los Angeles, has been charged and a warrant issued for his arrest.

Adan Peralta, 25, has already been deported to Mexico, but Los Angeles police say they want to be ready with an arrest warrant because they expect him to return.

He has been arrested and deported multiple times, most recently in April, said Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Since his deportation, detectives located a witness who was able to identify Peralta out of photo lineup, which led to the criminal filing. 

After a string of robberies of elderly women in Little Tokyo, police released video, above, showing a short man with a backpack snatching a chain from the neck of a blind, 68-year-old woman pushing a walker.

Vernon said an anonymous caller reported hearing Peralta and his brother bragging about committing the crimes. Patrol officers found Peralta walking in Little Tokyo soon after and arrested him.

Detectives were initially unable to persuade prosecutors to file charges against Peralta for the robbery of the blind woman because she was unable to identify her assailant.

"We were pretty convinced we had the 'backpack bandit' anyway," said Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division. "Aside from bragging about doing the robberies, Peralta had scratches on his arms, which were consistent with the victim fighting back during the robbery."

The L.A. County district attorney's office has issued an arrest warrant for the robbery with bail set at $105,000.

"Peralta seems to always land back in the downtown area," Vernon said. "Every officer has a flier with his face on it, and we'll be ready if he returns."


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