Motel Robbers Caught on Tape

June 16, 2006

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police detectives have released surveillance footage of two robbers who broke into a Hollywood motel, tortured the landlord, and stole over $14,000 in cash from a safe and the motel owner.

“It appears these suspects are targeting motels, and the suspects have a good idea of how the motels operate,” said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. “Anyone who knows these suspects will recognize them from the video.”

The surveillance footage from the Hollywood Inn Express shows two men casing the motel around 4:45 AM on June 2, 2006. The multi-story motel is located in the 5100 block of Hollywood Boulevard and caters to tourists in the area, but it appears the suspects’ target was the manager’s residence.

The two Black men forced their way into the motel’s office where the owner and a clerk were sleeping in an adjoining residence. The two suspects stripped the 51-year-old owner naked and bound his hands. They beat and tortured him, demanding to know where the safe was. A 34-year-old clerk was struck in the head with a gun by one suspect. The other suspect beat the owner with a metal object. The suspects ransacked the residence for 40 minutes. The owner and the clerk were able to escape during the robbery.

Other witnesses also described a silver Ford Mustang in the area at the time of the robbery. Detectives think the car was driven by a third suspect.

Detectives have linked this robbery to a similar one in Santa Fe Springs on May 26. The Whittier Police Department is investigating that robbery, which had many similarities, including suspect description, method of entry, and the fact the motel was Indian owned.

“Indian ownership of these motels appears to be an important link,” Vernon said. “We have alerted the Indian community in Los Angeles. Detectives also think there may have been other incidents, but we think some owners have been too afraid to report them. We’d like anyone who recognizes the men, the car, or anyone who has been a victim to call police.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Victor Brown at 213-972-2954. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

A video clip and still photograph of a car matching the one suspected in the robbery can be obtained from Media Relations, upon request.