Buyers Beware in the West San Fernando Valley Area NR09381rh

August 5, 2009

August 7, 2009

One of the suspects described below has now been identified as 28-year-old North Hills resident Dustin Hensley, who was arrested for armed robbery on August 4, 2009.  His bail has been set at $385,000.  Two other suspects remain outstanding.

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is seeking the public’s help in searching for two suspects who robbed multiple victims at gunpoint within the past two weeks in the Topanga area.

Within the last two weeks, between the hours of 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., a series of armed robberies have occurred on De Soto Avenue and Vanowen Street in the West San Fernando Valley area.  There are multiple victims who found cars advertised on the Craig’s List website with a very low purchase price.  The advertised prices seem too low to be true and encourage would-be victims to rush to a pre-arranged location with money in hand.  Once there, when the victims attempt to purchase the car, they are robbed at gunpoint by two suspects with handguns.

Car buyers who are buying from Craig’s List are warned not to take cash with them to purchase a car and encouraged to meet at a safe, public location, perhaps at a bank or a Department of Motor Vehicles office.

The first suspect is described as a male Hispanic 25-30 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 130 pounds.  The other suspect is described as a male Hispanic 5 feet 10 inches tall, 130 pounds.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Topanga Division robbery detectives at 818-756-3523.  During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log onto and click on Web tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD”.  Tipsters may remain anonymous.