Alleged looter confronts victim at knifepoint


A Sylmar woman faces assault charges in connection with an incident of alleged looting that happened during the chaos of last week’s storm, when she allegedly stole items from a car crushed by a downed tree.

The whole incident happened in Newhall, about 4 p.m. on Feb. 18, on the 20500 block of Newhall Avenue.

“A tree fell on a car and broke the window, giving the suspect access to the interior of the vehicle,” Lt. Ignacio Somoano told The Signal Friday.

“The suspect was stealing items from a vehicle damaged by a weather event,” he said.

When the looter was photographed, she confronted the photographer.

“The victim took a picture of the suspect,” Somoano said.

“The suspect got mad and rammed her car into the victim’s car, threatened her with a knife and made numerous criminal threats.”

Rita Ramirez, 51, of Sylmar, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, a felony.

She remains in custody at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood with bail set at $495,000.

Ramirez is scheduled to appear in San Fernando Superior Court on March 2.

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