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News Release

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Media Relations

Arrest of Underground Parking Bandit

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department Olympic Division officers have arrested a 40-year old Los Angeles resident in connection with a series of parking lot and business robberies in the Koreatown community.

For the past several weeks, the Koreatown area of Olympic Division has been experiencing a rash of robberies involving one or two African American male suspects.  The suspect(s) would wait outside of apartment buildings and follow residents as they drove into the building parking structure to park their car.  One of the suspects would then approach the targeted victim and demand money while simulating a handgun.  The suspects took money and other personal items of value before running away from the scene.   

Olympic Area detectives’ investigation revealed the suspects were targeting Korean victims.  Although in most robberies only one suspect was seen, detectives believe two suspects were working together.  The suspects were driving a silver or gray-colored car.  In most of the robberies, the principal suspect would use a cap and a wig to disguise himself.  

In addition to the parking structure robberies, detectives say one of the suspects may have committed two other robberies at Korean-owned restaurants on Olympic Boulevard.

On December 16, 2010, at around 12:10 a.m., two additional victims were robbed in the 400 block of Western Avenue in Koreatown, including a female victim who suffered injuries to her hand during the crime.  These robberies resulted in the arrest of the principal suspect as he tried to drive away, but was apprehended by Olympic Area patrol officers.  The suspect was driving a 1999 silver Dodge Intrepid when he was arrested.  Officers also recovered an apparent disguise that may have been used in the robberies.

The suspect was identified as Sammy Johnson.  He was booked at Metropolitan Jail Section, charged with multiple counts of robbery and held without bail. The other suspect is still at large.

Anyone with information regarding this series of robberies is asked to contact Olympic Robbery detectives at 213-382-9463.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) using a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters can also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.