Why would Justin Bieber try to steal a girl’s cellphone?

Posted at 8:01 AM, May 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-14 08:01:20-04

(CNN) — In this week’s episode of Justin Bieber’s brush with the law, the pop singer has been accused of attempted robbery, police said.

It sounds worse than it may be: The alleged incident is apparently over a cellphone.

The Los Angeles Police Department didn’t offer up too many details.

Police spokeswoman Rosario Herrera said the incident in question took place Monday night. The department didn’t receive a complaint until Tuesday, and officers were interviewing the person Tuesday night.

Herrera wouldn’t say any more.

CNN affiliate KTLA was able to tease a little bit more out of police.

Officers were called out because Bieber had allegedly tried to take a girl’s phone, Sgt. Paul McLaughlin told the affiliate.

No photos

The gossip website TMZ said it spoke with a woman who identified herself as the one who filed the complaint:

The woman said Bieber and his crew “got into an altercation with some guys” at a batting cage in Sherman Oaks on Monday night, according to the website.

Bieber saw her reaching for her cell phone, and demanded she hand over her phone so he could delete any photos she may have snapped, TMZ said.

When she refused, he reached into her purse and grabbed it, the woman told the site.

CNN’s attempts to reach Bieber’s reps or his lawyer were unsuccessful Tuesday night. CNN was also trying to get in touch with the managers of the batting cage where the incident reportedly occurred.

As for Bieber, he was in Oklahoma City taking in a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Whirlwind of controversy

The accusation is just the latest incident in what has been a whirlwind year of controversy for the pop star.

There was the DUI arrest in Miami, the assault charge in Toronto, the felony vandalism probe in Los Angeles.

The Federal Aviation Administration also is investigating allegations that Bieber and other passengers onboard a charter flight from Canada to New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport interfered with the flight crew, the agency said.

None of the criminal charges facing Bieber, including the expected vandalism count, appear to threaten his freedom. Probation sentences, fines, community service and counseling are routinely given in such cases.

CNN’s Dave Alsup contributed to this report

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