Los Angeles. Los Angeles police detectives are asking for the public’s help to solve an attempted robbery that occurred at a downtown 7-11 convenience store just after midnight this morning, January 18, 2010.
One clerk was behind the register when an armed Black man, in his 20’s, walked into the store yelling, "Open the register quick. Give me the money." Another employee, who was stocking the drink cooler, heard the commotion.
"He commanded over and over to open the register with the rifle pointed in the man’s face," said Lt. Paul Vernon, who heads-up detectives downtown. "For whatever reason, the clerk couldn’t open the drawer and started calling for his partner to do it. It’s a very tense few moments."
The gunman leads the clerk to the cooler, but when neither employee can open the register, he leaves without taking anything. Several witnesses saw him running, gun in hand, along 7th Street, then south on Grand Avenue. Witnesses also described a second man who may have acted as a lookout at the door during the robbery.
"We want everyone to look closely at the video and consider the suspect’s clothing description," Vernon said. "It’s distinct enough that it might be familiar to someone who knows this robber. Just put yourself in this clerk’s place and imagine how scary this must have been."
The robber was wearing a black night-watch cap; a brown and white striped shirt; and he had orange long sleeves from a shirt underneath. He also wore gloves, blue jeans, and a gold watch with a black wrist band. He was between 20 and 30 years old, 5’10", with a 3 to 4-day growth of beard. His gun appears to be a .22 caliber rifle.
His lookout was also a Black man, 5’6", in his 20’s, dressed in dark clothing.
The 7-11 is located at 500 W. 7th Street. Police spent several hours at the store, searching with police dogs and gathering evidence.
Anyone with information is asked to call Central Robbery Detective John Arredondo at 213-972-1248. During non-business hours or on weekends calls, calls may also be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 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) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.
Lt. Vernon is available for interviews between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM at Central Police Station, 251 E. 6th Street, Los Angeles. The video is available for recording and includes audio.