first_imgSeven people have been arrested in connection with identity theft schemes that could have impacted up to 500 San Fernando Valley residents and another ring that specialized in take-over heists of electronics stores, police said Tuesday. John Ellis Wane, 30, of Woodland Hills and Christy Ann Newsom, 30, of Sylmar were arrested Friday and charged with several counts of robbery and theft, as well as drug possession. Police say Wane and Newsom operated an identity theft scam with information provided by Robert Bazikyan, 29, of Glendale. Bazikyan was arrested on suspicion of robbing up to 12 Valley pedestrians. Some of what he stole was found with Wane and Newsom, police said. “(Bazikyan) would come up behind an elderly person and take their purse,” said Capt. Fabian Lazarraga of the Van Nuys division of the Los Angeles Police Department. “We then were led to a lot of equipment of documentation material in which 250 to 500 victims could have been impacted if these individuals had not been arrested.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesEvidence collected included credit cards, watches, blank gift cards and computers. Police also arrested four Los Angeles robbers known as the iPod/cell phone bandits who specialized in holding up electronics stores across L.A. Carlton Henderson and Jeffrey Blocker, both 18, and two juveniles, 17 and 15, were arrested in Van Nuys on Aug. 3 during a robbery. Police say the bandits are responsible for 14 robberies in the Los Angeles area, including Long Beach and West Hollywood. Police Chief William Bratton said the arrests were significant for the Valley, where robberies have increased by 15.3 percent from this time last year, but where arrests also are up by 20 percent during that period. In the past several years, more than 200 robberies of restaurants, taverns and other commercial businesses have occurred in the Valley, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and other locations in the region, police have said. The arrests announced Tuesday have no connection to those incidents. Bratton said he is appealing to the public to share any information with police. “The idea is we have this problem right now, and we want to deal with it so we can knock some of it down,” he said. “We know for certain there are some organized crews. Eventually, we end up getting them all.” [email protected] (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img