'Jason Bourne' suspect arrested in downtown L.A. hotel after LAPD standoff
LAPD officers surrounded a downtown L.A. hotel and took into custody an elusive suspect that police have likened to Jason Bourne, the fictional secret agent known for his daring getaways and high-tech gadgetry in a series of films played by Matt Damon.
Police have been looking for Brian Alexik for nearly two months, ever since they allegedly found weapons and counterfeit cash inside his loft, which is located right outside the Federal Reserve building in downtown L.A.
LAPD sources told The Times that police surrounded a hotel off Hewitt Street near Little Tokyo and eventually detained Alexik as well as a girlfriend. He is now being questioned.
Streets in the area had been blocked off by police. LAPD Capt. Steve Sambar said police officers earlier Thursday noticed a woman who matched the description of Alexik's girlfriend near the hotel.
The bizarre case began in April when a resident at an upscale downtown L.A. high-rise smelled fumes coming from a neighboring apartment.
Firefighters knocked on the door of the apartment but they were refused entry. Police were called and they broke down the door of the penthouse just as a man inside was escaping through a back window and down a fire escape carrying duffel bags.
The apartment contained sophisticated counterfeiting equipment as well as a cache of weapons, including an AK-47, police said. They also found stacks of counterfeit $100 bills totaling $15,000 and a camera tripod, police said.
But detectives' interest was heightened when they looked out a window and saw that the penthouse balcony had a spot-on view of the U.S. Federal Reserve building on Grand Avenue.
The $3,400-a-month penthouse was leased one year in advance, with payment in stacks of cash, police said.
Detectives are not sure what Alexik, a 33-year-old New Jersey man, was up to and what role, if any, the Federal Reserve might have played in any alleged scheme. They are not exactly sure whom they are dealing with because detectives found multiple identifications, including passports, listing different aliases for the man.
Photos found at the apartment show Alexik with significantly different looks, police said. In one photo, he's clean-shaven, holding a glass of wine and smiling. Another shows him somewhat heavier, with a beard and bandanna covering his forehead.