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News Release

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Media Relations

LAPD Arrest 7 for Robbery in the Valley

Los Angeles: Today, Chief Bratton at a press conference announced the great effort made by officers on the arrest of four suspects known as "The Ipod / Cell Phone Bandits" and another three for Robbery and running an Illegal Credit Card Counterfeiting Operation.

On July 28, 2006, Robbery-Homicide Division assumed the investigative responsibility of robberies that had occurred in West, Central and South Los Angeles, which began mid-July. The suspects in this series were described as male Blacks, 17-25 years old, armed with a handgun.

The suspects would enter a store, pose as customers and inquire about electronic equipment such as Ipods and cellular phones. The suspects, at gunpoint, would take money from the cash register and from employees and customers. The suspects were dubbed, "The Ipod / Cell Phone Bandits."

On August 3, 2006, four suspects were arrested after committing a robbery in Van Nuys. The suspects were two adults and two juveniles, who were subsequently booked for robbery. Carlton Henderson, 18, arrested for 17 counts of robbery, Jeffrey Blocker, 18, arrested for 11 counts of robbery, a 17-year-old male arrested for 13 counts of robbery, and a 15-year-old male arrested for seven counts robbery.

Detectives served four search warrants and recovered a total of 127 items of evidence, connecting the suspects to the various robberies. So far, the suspects have been found responsible for a total of 14 robberies throughout the City of Los Angeles and three robberies outside of the City limit, netting over $30,000.

On August 4, 2006, at 8:30 AM, John Wanes, 30, and Christy Newsom, 30, were arrested for robbery in the 7300 block of Woodley Avenue in Van Nuys. Wanes and Newsom were nabbed by officers in front of George's Auto Body business. It was discovered that they were in possession of a drivers license and credit cards that was taken during a robbery earlier that day.

Upon entering the business to retrieve Wanes identification, officers discovered what appeared to be an illegal credit card counterfeiting operation. Profiles of people, blank credit cards, a magnetic strip reader/writer, credit card making equipment and other items consistent with manufacturing and altering credit cards were among Wanes' property. Detectives developed their leads and arrested Robert Bazikyan, 29, for robbery. He was in possession of a cellular phone, which was taken during Wanes' robbery.

For further information contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.