2 pickpockets arrested, 17 stolen cell phones recovered in West Hollywood

A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of stealing more than a dozen cell phones from people enjoying West Hollywood’s bars and clubs.

Authorities say deputies patrolling the area around West Hollywood’s bars made the arrests Friday night, and recovered 17 stolen phones from them.

Deputies were approaching Santa Monica and Robertson boulevards when they recognized a man authorities resembled a pickpocket suspect from past incidents, according to sheriff’s officials. They were startled when the deputies contacted them, and authorities say the woman was seen throwing a cell phone behind a dumpster.

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They were detained, and after an investigation, the team recovered 17 stolen phones. Five of the phones were returned to their owners.

The two pickpockets, who were not identified, were arrested on suspicion of grand theft.

Investigators say they have increased patrols around West Hollywood’s bars and clubs, and have turned to an unlikely source for help — club bouncers, who have been taking photos of pickpocketing suspects. Deputies have received pictures of a group of about a dozen suspects, and six have been arrested so far.

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