KTLA Anchor Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Headphones at LAX Airport

Lu Parker (Juan Rico / Associated Press)
Juan Rico / Associated Press

KTLA news anchor Lu Parker, 48, was arrested for petty theft at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday for allegedly stealing a pair of $200 headphones from an off-duty LAPD robbery-homicide detective, who made the arrest.

Parker — whose legal name is Frances Louise Parker — was booked on suspicion of petty theft around 7 a.m. and is being held at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division, according to local CBS in Los Angeles.

According to a statement issued by KTLA, the former Miss USA pageant winner was on her way to visit her father, who is ill. While she was passing through security, she apparently noticed a pair of earbud headphones that had been left behind. “She picked them up intending to return them to the owner whom she had been speaking with while in line to clear TSA. When she was unable to locate the owner, Lu boarded her flight,” KTLA wrote.

Officer Robert Pedregon, a spokesman for Los Angeles Airport Police, told the Los Angeles Times that the off-duty detective alerted officers that his headphones were missing and when officers arrived at the screening area, he asked to perform a private person’s arrest after authorities viewed surveillance video.

The Times notes that “such an arrest is usually made when no on-duty officer witnessed the offense.”

KTLA maintains that the incident was a “misunderstanding,” writing “we believe this is a misunderstanding, Lu is cooperating fully with the authorities and we are confident she will be able to clear this all up.”

Some users took the opportunity to make the arrest about race.

Others showed their support:

Parker had famously dated former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa from 2009-2012, and had reported several stories on him before their relationship became public.

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