Smooth Talker

Con Man Preys on Artists, Musicians

Los Angeles police say a con man has stolen thousands of dollars in cash from traveling bands and sports teams by posing as a member of their entourage. Investigators say the man used Web sites and social media to dig up information on the whereabouts of the visiting athletes and artists and then smooth-talked his way into their hotel rooms. In August, the man convinced a hotel desk clerk to give him keys to the rooms of salsa musicians, from whom he stole $9,000. The next month, wearing a Chivas soccer jersey, he used the same scam to steal $10,000 from the soccer team. And in October, he sneaked into a locker room and made off with $26,000 in cash and jewelry from an Israeli basketball team playing the Clippers. The man may also be the “office creeper,” who absconds with laptops from office buildings. He is still at large.