3 women arrested in South Bay burglary, identity theft spree

SUNNYVALE (KRON) — Three women were arrested in a South Bay burglary spree, police announced on Monday.

Sunnyvale police arrested Melissa Larsen, 20, Madeline Amelia Lopez, 19, and Julia Marie Peruzzi, 18, for allegedly committing multiple identity thefts and burglaries.

The three committed the crimes over the last six months, police said.

They are accused of targeting real estate open houses and stores. One of the women would look for female employees working by themselves and distract them by plugging the toilet or creating some other diversion, police said. The others would then steal cash and/or credit cards from the employee’s purse as she was being distracted, according to police.

Another woman would then drive the getaway car to Safeway or CVS to buy gift cards using the stolen credit cards, police said. Their spree involved crimes in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Santa Clara.

During the investigation, police identified the suspects.

The women are now facing 20 charges.

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