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KTLA News Anchor Arrested For Stealing Headphones From Off-Duty Detective At LAX

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Lu Parker (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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KTLA news anchor Lu Parker was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday morning for allegedly stealing a pair of headphones from a passenger in a TSA screening line. KTLA has since issued a statement calling the situation a "misunderstanding."

Parker, whose legal name is Frances Louise Parker, is a midday news anchor at KTLA. She made headlines in years past for her relationship with then-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (she and the former mayor called it quits in 2012, after three years together). Parker was also awarded the Miss USA title in 1994.

Los Angeles International Airports Police spokesman Officer Robert Pedregon told LAist that his office received a phone call "about lost property at Terminal 6," around 7:03 a.m. this morning. According to Pedregon an individual was going through the screening line with their belongings when they realized that an expensive pair of headphones was missing. Airport police officers responded, conducted an investigation, and determined that the property in question was not lost—it was stolen. The officers identified Parker, who by this point had already boarded her plane, as the suspect after reviewing security footage taken in the screening area. She was pulled off the flight and arrested on suspicion of petty theft, according to the L.A. Times.

As if a semi-famous news anchor stealing (maybe) fancy headphones in the TSA security line wasn't story enough, things actually get weirder. Unfortunately for Parker, the victim also happened to be an off-duty Robbery-Homicide detective, who then performed a "citizen's arrest" on Parker (because "when you're off duty, you're off duty," according to Pedregon).

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How exactly, you might wonder, does a citizen's arrest (technical term: "private person's arrest") actually work in real life? Per Officer Pedregon:

As a citizen, all of us have the ability to place somebody under arrest, the same as a police officer... This was a misdemeanor that was not in the presence of an [on-duty] officer, so the victim themselves can press charges, and did.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, KTLA contends in their statement that Parker merely noticed that the headphones were left behind and "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. 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," the statement continued.