L.A. can almost breathe easy again, as The Times announces the capture of an enterprising criminal mastermind behind a string of sea cucumber and ginseng robberies plaguing San Gabriel Valley health stores throughout October. After a couple of narrow escapes, 56-year-old Man Van Truong of Van Nuys was caught in the act with his hands around a barrel of ginseng at a Chinese herbal medicine shop last Tuesday, leading police to track his car down and nab him. A number of similar thefts have been reported in the last few months all over the SGV, with dried sea cucumber fetching prices of up to $130 per pound and ginseng over $300.
No word yet on whether Truong was fencing the goodies or getting high on his own supply, but the villain’s accomplice is still at large. Until he’s apprehended, we can only presume your sea cucumber stocks are still in danger. [LAT]