Police Identify ‘Backpack Bandit’

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Adan Peralta

CITY NEWS SERVICE

The man suspected of being downtown’s “Backpack Bandit” was deported to Mexico, but police said Tuesday they would arrest him if he comes back to Los Angeles.

Adan Peralta, 25, is suspected of robbing a 79-year-old, sight-impaired woman in the 200 block of San Pedro Street in Little Tokyo on Aug. 1. That crime, part of which was recorded on video, shows a man believed to be Peralta running away from a woman using a walker.

Peralta also was suspected in two similar crimes, according to LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.

A tipster told police Peralta and his brother were bragging about the robberies, Vernon said.

Vernon said police picked up Peralta, but did not have enough evidence to prosecute him, and officers turned him over to federal immigration agents, who returned him to his native Mexico. Detectives later found a witness who identified Peralta in a photo lineup and got an arrest warrant for him.

“Peralta seems to always land back in the downtown area,” Vernon said. “Every officer has a flier with his face on it, and we’ll be ready if he returns.”

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