Takeover Robbery in Fashion District, Caught on Tape

June 19, 2008

Los Angeles. Los Angeles detectives are asking the public’s help in identifying three armed robbers who took over an apparel store in the Fashion District on June 12, 2008. Store surveillance cameras captured the crime on tape.

“We think anyone who’s familiar with any of these suspects will recognize them from the video,” said Lieutenant Paul Vernon, head of detectives for the Central Police Station. “We only need one person to identify one suspect, even anonymously, and the detectives can do the rest.”

The robbery occurred at 4:50 in the afternoon at the T-Town shirt store, which sells sweat shirts in the Fashion District. Three Black men came into the shop and cased it for several minutes before the robbery. One suspect leaves momentarily then returns and shuts the door to the store as the robbery goes down. His heavy-set partner brandishes a revolver at one woman while another suspect grabs a second woman, scaring her so badly she collapses. The suspect may have used his cell phone to feign a stun gun.

“The suspects used the duct tape from the store to bind the victims while they searched for cash,” Vernon said. “Thankfully, such takeover robberies are infrequent, but brazen crooks like these need to be captured quickly before they hurt someone. We’ve issued a crime alert to warn other businesses.”

The heavy-set suspect was between 30 and 35 years old. He weighed nearly 300 pounds. The suspect in the black shirt was about the same age, and he had several distinctive moles on the left side of his neck. The suspect seen on the cell phone was younger, between 17 and 25 years old, and he wore distinctive shorts with broad white stripes. This suspect had also cased the store earlier, around 12:00 PM.

The victims, two Korean women and a Hispanic man, were not seriously injured during the robbery. The store is located at 1349 South Main Street. The suspects made off with several thousand dollars in cash and a case of shirts.

Other witnesses described a brown Honda Accord or Civic leaving the area with three Black men shortly after the robbery. The car may be related to the robbery.

This is the second takeover robbery in the Fashion District this year. The prior one occurred on April 17, 2008, on Los Angeles Street. The suspects in that case were Hispanic men, and detectives do not think the crimes are related.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD’s Central Robbery Unit at 213-972-1246. Persons can also call the 24-hour hotline number, 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855)