High-Class Cat Burglar 'Rico Suave' Roams LA
Debonair thief took $45K from Four Seasons days before Oscars
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2010 10:28 AM CST
"Rico Suave" caught on closed-caption TV in a hotel elevator.   (LAPD)

(Newser) – The LAPD has been on his trail since October, but that didn’t stop debonair burglar “Rico Suave” from pulling off a heist just days before the Oscars at one of Beverly Hills’ most glamorous hotels in the middle of a massive police presence. The thief apparently used his Spanish and a hotel manager’s uniform to charm his way into the room of Cuban sugar magnate Pepe Fanjul on the pretext of fixing a vent. When he left, so did $45,000 in jewelry.

“Rico Suave” appears to have a penchant for disguises and using his Spanish language facility to impersonate others. He’s posed as a member of a salsa band, then infiltrated its room and made off with $9,000. He dressed as a fan of a Mexican soccer team and somehow ran off with $10,000, and through some other subterfuge relieved an Israeli basketball team of $26,000 inside the Staples Center. “He has all the makings of that rare breed of sophisticated cat burglar,” an LAPD official tells the Los Angeles Times.