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Two Romanian Nationals Accused of Impersonating Immigration Agents and Committing Robberies in Southern California

Fake immigration agents scheme

Two Romanian Nationals Charged for Southern California Robberies

In a shocking development, two Romanian nationals have been charged with felony offenses in Orange County, Southern California. 19-year-olds Laurentiu Baceanu and Vasile Alexandru are accused of pretending to be immigration agents and extorting local Hispanics for cash and debit cards.

Numerous Charges Levied

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced that Baceanu and Alexandru face 11 counts of second-degree robbery with hate crime enhancements and other felony charges also in Contra Costa County. The authorities suspect that the duo conducted similar crimes in Washington and New York.

Impersonation and Intimidation Tactics

The Romanian nationals allegedly targeted a street vendor in Tustin, approaching in their vehicle. Impersonating as police officers, the duo demanded the street vendor’s identification and told him they were inspecting counterfeit bills. When the vendor hesitated to give them cash, they threatened deportation.

Prosecutors report that the pair took $380 in cash from the vendor and stole his Mexican identification card. Another case involved them approaching a man in a restaurant parking lot and identifying themselves as immigration agents. They robbed him of his cash, debit card, and PIN.

Targeting Vulnerable Communities

In total, Baceanu and Alexandru have allegedly robbed 11 individuals in Tustin, Westminster, and Anaheim over two weeks. The pair notably wore fake law enforcement badges and communicated with their victims in Spanish, targeting men and women alike.

Arrest and Legal Proceedings

The authorities arrested the Romanian nationals last Thursday in Fullerton, in a blue Audi Q7, mere hours after they were suspected of robbing four other individuals in two separate incidents.

Both subjects have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer condemned the actions of the accused, stating that the humiliation and fear they inflicted on their victims based on their perceived ethnicity was ‘nothing short of disgusting’.

Wider Context

This development follows January’s widespread charge operation where dozens of individuals with suspected links to Romanian organized crime were charged by District Attorney Todd Spitzer. The operation highlighted a vast card-skimming operation that preyed on recipients of public aid funds.

Baceanu and Alexandru are also believed to be in the U.S. illegally. Critics of border control, like Spitzer, attribute this issue to lax border policies, which purportedly help criminals of Romanian organized crime enter the United States with the intention of committing such crimes.

A strong message from this incident resonates nationwide: unwavering vigilance against such crimes and a call for stricter border policies if the crime continues to worsen.

Two Romanian Nationals Accused of Impersonating Immigration Agents and Committing Robberies in Southern California Spartanburg SC

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