Los Angeles. Los Angeles police officers arrested 5 men, 2 adults and 3 minors, for Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, yesterday, August 1, 2011, after a Jewelry District merchant noticed the silver Cadillac circle the block near 6th Street and Broadway three times in five minutes.
“The jewelry merchants are alert to this spree of smash-and-grab robberies,” Lt. Paul Vernon of the Central Detective Division explained. “It was certain things about the car, how many men were stuffed inside, and how they were dressed that added up to Robbery.”
The merchant pushed his panic alarm and police arrived quickly. As they spoke to the merchant, the Cadillac passed by again. Officers saw the license plate was covered.
After officers detained the car and its occupants, they found a hammer, gloves, a large canister of pepper spray used to ward off bears, and a pillow case inside the car. The five occupants were wearing hooded sweatshirts on a hot day, and the driver was driving on a suspended license. Two of the five occupants were verified gang members from a South Los Angeles Blood gang.
“We also noticed that one of the occupants had his hand wrapped in a bandage, which made us remember the video we released from the 21 Century Jewelry Store robbery the other day,” Lt. Vernon said. “You’ll remember that one of the suspects there punched a glass display case and may have hurt his hand.”
Jabril Greene, 24, and Makrice Leonard, 18, were booked for Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, and there bail was set at $50,000. Two of the three juveniles, ages 16 to 17, were detained at Eastlake Juvenile Hall because of their prior criminal records, and the other juvenile was released to his parents. Three of the men lived in South Los Angeles, one juvenile lived in Compton, and one lived in Anaheim.
“We’ve sent out an alert to other agencies with this crew’s pictures so perhaps they might match them to some other smash-and-grabs,” Lt Vernon added. “This is a real regional effort to stop this spree.”
Detectives are presenting the arrests to prosecutors today in the hopes of getting the conspiracy counts filed.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Central Detectives at 213-972-1251. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) 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.