Four pickpockets, identity thieves apprehended after months long crime spree

Four individuals have been apprehended after a string of wallet thefts in grocery stores in Thousand Oaks started in August 2022.  According to a statement from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, they received an increased number of reports of wallet thefts in grocery stores and other similar locations in Thousand Oaks starting in August of 2022 and continuing into the following September.  All the victims were older females being targeted while they shopped, officials said. The suspects reportedly waited until the victims took their eyes off their shopping carts to unzip their purses and steal their wallets. All the victims had stored their purses in the upper storage area of their carts.  After the wallet theft, the suspects withdrew large amounts of cash from various banks using the victim’s credit card and other identification information.  Video surveillance footage of the thefts obtained by law enforcement showed that in all the cases, the suspect completing the fraudulent transactions resembled the older female victims and that the female suspect seemed to be around the same age and have the same physical characteristics as the victims.  Authorities learned of additional

Nearly a quarter of American adults don’t have access to enough food, study says

As inflation rates continue to increase the cost of food and pandemic-era benefits slowly fade, nearly 25% of American adults are experiencing food insecurity, a new study from the Urban Institute revealed. Food insecurity indicates that a person lacks regular access to sufficient food for a healthy diet. People can experience food insecurity at different levels, ranging from mild to severe, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The Urban Institute study showed that more adults reported experiencing food insecurity as the cost of food increased and pandemic-era food safety nets dwindled. Millions of Californians are expected to lose Medi-Cal benefits soon: Here is how to keep your benefits active Between December 2021 and December 2022, the number of adults that were food insecure increased from 20% to 24% The study, based on a survey of more than 7,500 adults between the ages of 18 and 64, found that 1 in 16 adults, or 16%, received charitable foods, such as free groceries and meals, in 2022. While that figure has continued to decrease since 2020, it’s still significantly more than the

Los Angeles public schools shut down as union workers strike for better pay

Tens of thousands of union workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District started walking the picket lines Tuesday over failed contract negotiations, starting a three-day strike that shut down the nation’s second-largest school system. Demonstrators started picketing in the rain as early as 5:30 a.m. at LAUSD’s Van Nuys bus yard. Workers and supporters also demonstrated outside public schools, and thousands participated in a large rally at LAUSD headquarters in Westlake. Liev Kaplan, 6, marched with his mom, Tiffany, an adaptive physical education teacher. “We want to fight for everyone so they can have fair pay,” the first-grader said. His dad teaches math. “We are an education family,” Tiffany Kaplan said. “But we can’t educate if the kids are not fed … if they’re not feeling safe. We have to support our support staff.” Thousands gathered outside LAUSD headquarters in Westlake on Day 1 of a workers’ strike on March 21, 2023. (KTLA) The strike, which had been in the works for several weeks, includes the support of as many as 60,000 members of the Local 99 of Service Employees International Union and United Teachers

New York Knicks legend Willis Reed dies at age 80

Hall of Fame basketball player Willis Reed has died at the age of 80, the National Basketball Retired Players Association confirmed Tuesday. He played 10 seasons for the New York Knicks, and he was best known for inspiring his teammates and fans by playing through a severe thigh injury in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals. Lilia Luciano and Lana Zak have more.

Orange County man pleads guilty to felony charge for role in Jan. 6 insurrection

A Florida man who previously resided in Orange County has pleaded guilty to one felony charge related to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the United States Capitol. Kevin Louis Galetto, 63, pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement officers. Galetto, who lives in Merritt Island, Florida, but previously resided in Westminster, attended the rally in Washington D.C. ahead of Congress’s certification of the 2020 Presidential Election. The rally became violent and deadly after a massive crowd of supporters of then-President Donald Trump attempted to gain entry into the Capitol in a futile attempt to stop the counting of electoral votes. Galetto, prosecutors stated, “engaged in violence” in the Lower West Tunnel of the Capitol. He was part of a group that was among the first to enter the tunnel, which was being defended by a large police presence. Galetto, who was wearing pro-Trump clothing, was part of a group that engaged officers in the tunnel, some of whom engaged in “acts of violence,” according to the United Stated Department of Justice. Body-worn camera footage showed Galetto pushing against shields

Who benefits by lifting the cap on insured deposits?

Stocks surged Tuesday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen indicated the government may be open to further assistance for troubled banks. San Francisco’s First Republic closed nearly 30% higher as traders rushed to snap up bargain-priced shares of regional banks. But what sort of assistance does the government have in mind? At this point, Yellen is being noncommittal. “There’s time to evaluate whether some adjustments are necessary in supervision and regulation to address the root causes of the crisis,” she said at a conference organized by the American Bankers Assn. “I don’t want to speculate at this point on what those adjustments might be. What I’m focused on is stabilizing our system and restoring the confidence of depositors.” Fair enough. But some Democratic lawmakers are saying it’s time to either raise the $250,000 cap on insured bank deposits or do away with the cap completely. This, they say, would prevent runs on banks because all deposits would be covered. And that’s undoubtedly true. But here’s the thing: The vast majority of Americans have less than $250,000 deposited at banks. Depositors who faced catastrophe at Silicon Valley

CalFresh pandemic benefits ending, food banks bracing for ‘hunger cliff’ 

CalFresh, California’s version of the federal food stamps program, is ending the emergency allotments and additional benefits being offered to recipients during the COVID-19 pandemic on March 26, and local food banks are scrambling to gather more supplies in anticipation of a massive rise in hunger.  CalFresh serves over 1.5 million people in Los Angeles County and over 665,000 people in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Now, with the benefits ending on Sunday, the average CalFresh recipient is set to lose around $82 per month, and families using CalFresh services may lose up to $200 per month.  Local area food banks are now preparing for what they have coined as a “hunger cliff” as rising costs for groceries, housing and utilities amidst a volatile economy are putting more of a strain on the millions of Southern Californians that rely on CalFresh. Related: Extra SNAP benefits set to expire for millions nationwide The ending of benefits has facilities like Westside Food Bank in Santa Monica unsure if they will be able to handle the impending inundation of people needing more supplies.  “With the loss of these