The victim toll is 30 and counting as LAPD investigators are trying to scope out the damage caused by a fraudulent San Fernando Valley travel agency run by a pair of siblings.
Carlos and Adriana Ramirez, 41 and 44-years-old respectively, ran San Fernando Travel in Panorama City for five years before being arrested November 1st for Grand Theft.
“They should have called their business No-Go Travel because if you bought a trip or insurance from the Ramirez clan you weren’t going anywhere,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division.
After a three month investigation into the agency, LAPD served search warrants at the Ramirez’s Sylmar and Santa Clarita homes. At the time of their arrest, the Ramirez siblings were estimated to have stolen $30,000 through fraudulent vacation plans and automotive insurance, and that number is expected to go up if more victims come forward.
Before San Fernando Travel closed its doors about a month ago, the agency operated at 15244 Parthenia Street in Panorama City. One of the Ramirez’s clients was Eustoria Rodriguez, who had bought a $1,500 travel voucher to travel to Mexico City to get away after the death of her baby only to later find out it was useless.
Isra Cuarto was another victim who had bought auto insurance and a trip for her daughter so that she could travel abroad. It was only after her daughter got into a car accident that Cuarto learned that the Ramirez’s policy had not been paid.
The Ramirez siblings are currently booked at the Mission City Jail where there bail hasn’t yet been set. The LAPD is still encouraging victims to come forward, with some cases having gone as far back as 2009.
“We expect there are many more victims out there, and we’d like them to come forward,” Lt. Vernon explained. “And anyone who may have purchased car insurance through these two people should verify their policy is real.”
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective William Cooper, Mission Burglary Unit, at (818) 838-9866. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.