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News Release

Monday, March 20, 2006

Media Relations

Pepper Spray Jewelry Bandits

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying a gang of brutal jewelry store bandits who hit two Don Roberto Jewelry Stores in the San Fernando Valley in January. The bandits’ images were caught on surveillance cameras.

The gang of six Black men robbed both jewelry stores, four days apart, beginning on January 8, 2006. The first robbery took place at 11:20 in the morning at the Don Roberto’s in the 9000 block of Woodman Avenue. The suspects got away with an estimated $10,000 in jewelry. The second robbery took place on January 12, at 11:40 AM, in the 8300 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, when the suspects took about $22,000 in jewelry.

The suspects’ modus operandi was similar in both robberies: All six enter the store and spray the store employees with pepper spray, temporarily blinding and disorienting them. Several of the suspects have guns and order employees and customers to lie on the floor, while other suspects smash the display cases with bats, and take the jewelry. In the first incident, the biggest suspect, estimated at nearly 300 pounds, grabbed a female employee, held a gun to her head, sprayed pepper spray in her eyes, then threw her to the floor. That same employee happened to be entering the second store during the second robbery and recognized the heavy set suspect as the same man who assaulted her four days earlier.

Witnesses saw the suspects get away in a dark colored car at the first robbery, but the bandits divided into two cars in the second robbery, a white 1980s model Honda Prelude and a burgundy Ford Expedition with chromed wheels.

The six suspects are described below:
#1: 6 feet 2 inches, 280 pounds, 25-35 years old, with corn-rowed hair
#2: 5 feet 5 inches, 130 to 140 pounds, 25 to 35 years old, tan jacket with dark hood
#3: 5 feet 9 inches, 150 to 160 pounds, 25 to 35 years old, dark clothing
#4: 6 feet, 170 pounds, 20 to 25 years old, with a light complexion
#5: dark clothing
#6: dark clothing

Anyone with information on these suspects is asked to call Robbery Homicide Division, at 213-485-2511. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

Still photographs of the suspects are available from Media Relations by request.