Italian suit scam artist caught by DPS

On Monday, the Department of Public Safety announced it had apprehended a suspect in connection with a series of street scams near the University Park Campus.

At approximately 12:32 p.m., DPS received a complaint about a man trying to sell clothing near 28th Street and Figueroa Street. The car was described as a       dark-colored Jeep Cherokee that had allegedly been used in a previous attempt to defraud someone.

Officers responded and were searching for the suspect when they received a hit from a license plate recognition camera and arrested an Italian male who uses the name Pasquale Silvestro on the 2600 block of Monmouth Avenue, north of campus.

“We detained the suspect in that vehicle, and he was taken into custody for grand theft,” DPS Deputy Chief David Carlisle said. “We’re pleased this person has been taken into custody. It appears we have the right man and numerous articles of new clothing were recovered from his car.”

Last Friday, DPS alerted students of a scam artist claiming to be down on his luck and selling custom-made Italian suits out of the back of his vehicle. Officers suspected he was using different rental cars and entered various license plates into their system over the weekend.

Silvestro is suspected of taking large sums of money from at least three students while attempting to scam others. Carlisle said there might have been additional scam attempts that went unreported.

“There could be people who have not come forward who were defrauded by him, “ Carlisle said. “If they were, we would like them to contact DPS detectives.”

Though an initial incident report suggested there might have been a second female suspect, Silvestro was alone at the time of arrest. As of Monday night the suspect was in the process of being booked at LAPD.