Los Angeles: Detectives have released video of a bandit who’s robbed at least two businesses in the northeast San Fernando Valley and is suspected in many more robberies as far away as Calabasas and Santa Clarita.
“We dubbed him the Count-Three Bandit because in our two cases, he’s told the clerks to, ‘Get down and count to three,’ as he makes his escape,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division. “You can also see him brandish a prominent 4-inch, western-style revolver.”
The Count-Three Bandit is a Black man between 25 and 50 years old. It’s been difficult to gauge his age as he wears a large hoodie that has a light-colored lining in the hood and a dark bandana over his face. However, witnesses have described his brown eyes as BIG. He is tall, over 6 feet, with a thin to medium build. He has a dark complexion and wears gloves.
Detectives, for sure, have tied this man to the September 15 afternoon robbery at the Good Night Inn on Encinitas Avenue in Sylmar and the September 19 early-morning hold up at the Shell Gas Station at 12858 Roscoe Boulevard. “But similar descriptions and videos from businesses in Santa Clarita, West Valley, Devonshire, and Calabasas make us think this guy is responsible for many more robberies,” Lt. Vernon explained.
The videos released show the bandit walking into each business quite deliberately with gun in hand and his face obscured by the hoodie and bandana. He is assertive, pointing the gun and demanding money from the till. In both cases, he ordered employees to the floor and told them to count to three.
Anyone with information on these crimes is urged to call Det. Luz Montero, Mission Robbery Unit, at (818) 838-9896. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.
Media outlets can record the videos by coming to the Mission Police Station on Sepulveda Boulevard.