Update November 9, 2018
On November 7, 2018, around 9 p.m., North Hollywood detectives arrested Steven Szwet’s on three counts of Battery. The case is under review by the City Attorney’s office for a possible hate crime enhancement.
Detectives Seek the Public’s Assistance in Identifying a Hate Crime Suspect Targeting Women in North Hollywood’s Orthodox Jewish Community North Hollywood: The Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood Division Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a battery suspect targeting women in North Hollywood’s Orthodox Jewish community.
On September 19, 2018 (Yom Kippur Holiday), in the afternoon, an 80-year-old female victim was walking on Bellaire Avenue from Burbank Boulevard. She noticed she was being followed by a 25 to 30-year-old male Caucasian suspect. When she reached Chandler Boulevard, the suspect approached her, grabbed the wig off her head, smiled and handed it back to her. The suspect never said anything and then calmly walked away.
Later that day, a 36-year-old female victim was walking on Chandler Boulevard at Bellaire Avenue. She was approached from behind by the same suspect who attempted to pull the wig off her head.
On November 6, 2018, in the afternoon, a 58-year-old female victim was loading music equipment into her vehicle located in the area of Laurel Canyon and Burbank Boulevard. The same suspect from the prior two incidents approached her and pulled the wig off her head. He then stated to the victim, “Oh, I’m sorry” in a sarcastic manner and threw the wig on the ground. The suspect then walked away.
All three female victims are part of the Orthodox Jewish community residing in the area where the crimes occurred. The suspect appears to have battered the women and targeted their wigs because of their religious beliefs. Orthodox Jewish women often wear wigs, scarfs, or hats to cover their hair as a symbol of modesty.
Picture Of Suspect
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact LAPD North Hollywood Division Crimes Against Persons Detective Dan Fournier at (818) 754-8451. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.