KTLA Anchor Cuts Deal in Earbud Theft Case

By Kevin Eck 

KTLA anchor Lu Parker who was arrested in November on suspicion of petty theft at Los Angeles International Airport will not face charges if she completes a diversion program, reports the The Los Angeles Times.

Parker agreed to participate in a pre-filing diversion program called the Neighborhood Justice Program.

The diversion program is “a way to avoid going to court, of being convicted or pleading guilty, and of having a criminal record,” according to the city attorney’s office. Participants appear before a panel of community members, where they discuss the alleged crime, why it was committed and the harm it caused.

The panelists then decide the appropriate actions by the accused, such as doing community service, writing an apology letter, paying restitution or taking classes.

Parker was arrested at LAX on November 2 after being accused of taking a pair of earbuds belonging to an off-duty LAPD robbery and homicide detective.

In a statement, KTLA said Parker picked the earbuds up after noticing they had been left behind at the TSA security checkpoint and intended to return them to the owner. She was arrested after boarding her flight with the earbuds.

“The earbuds were left behind in a canister and Mrs. Parker had no intention of doing anything but finding the rightful owner,” Robert Shapiro told TMZ. “As she had her own earbuds as well as her own headphones, and she regrets the inconvenience this has caused everyone.”