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Second Suspected Purse Bandit Arrested

Jennifer Lee Whitmer was taken into custody on Friday in connection with the Loehmann's purse robberies in Laguna Niguel and Irvine last month, according to officials.

Authorities arrested Jennifer Lee Whitmer, a second suspect in connection with stealing around $5,000 total in expensive purses from two Loehmann's stores in July including the Laguna Niguel location.

Whitmer was taken into custody Friday in San Diego after someone called in an anonymous tip to the Orange County Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit tip line that works closely with other Orange County law enforcement agencies.

"Two out of the four suspects have been caught. I’m confident that there will be more arrests," said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

On July 16 at the Loehmman's store at 13682 Jamboree Road in Irvine around 3 p.m., four women lifted about $2,800 in purses. As the women were running to the getaway vehicle, one of them got into a scuffle with a security guard and bit him, Amormino said.

Amormino said they are still searching for two other women, and a man who he said was believed to have been behind the wheel of the silver 2008 Dodge Stratus.

That same afternoon, three women were seen at the L in Laguna Niguel, carrying several bags and running toward the exit.

A security guard attempted to stop the trio, however, one of the women bit the guard, Amormino said.

One of the suspected purse thieves, Myisha Stephens, 29, was taken into custody on July 30 also in San Diego.

The Sheriff's Department has released images and video of one of the thefts, and are asking anyone with information to contact authorities or submit a tip at 855-TIP-OCCS or 855-847-6227, or occrimestoppers.org.

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