A man who steals wallets while looking at mobile homes for sale has struck again in Camarillo and Oxnard, authorities said Friday.
The man is believed responsible for three thefts in three weeks in Camarillo and one theft in Oxnard. Detectives are investigating whether he is the same man who has used a similar scam on 15 people in Thousand Oaks since February.
"We're warning people it's still continuing," Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Lazz said.
The man, described as about 25 years old with light brown hair and an earring in his left ear, apparently looks for mobile homes that are offered for sale by the owner, Lazz said. If the door is unlocked, he often enters the house.
On Monday, a 79-year-old Camarillo woman found the man standing in the living room of her house. He told her he was looking for a home for his grandmother and she showed him around.
He thanked her and left with her wallet, which contained $30 in cash, Lazz said.
Oxnard detectives said that a man recently used an unlocked back door to enter a mobile home that was for sale in the 1100 block of Ventura Boulevard in Oxnard.
A 38-year-old woman living in the home pushed him outside the door and he left, police said.
The man's method of operation is similar to that of the thief operating in Thousand Oaks. "He may have struck in other cities, but people may not be piecing it together," Sheriff's Sgt. Kitty Hoberg said.
Investigators have released a composite drawing of the Thousand Oaks thief. He is victimizing younger people and "getting braver all the time," Hoberg said. Authorities said he often is seen barefoot and sometimes approaches older people, saying he is looking for help or wishes to tour their houses, authorities said.
He is also believed responsible for stealing a wallet from the house of a Thousand Oaks woman who was outside watering her lawn on Thursday. He always discards the wallets, Hoberg said.
The Ventura County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the man's arrest.