Serial carjacker-robber wanted in 19 crimes across L.A. County
A carjacking and robbery suspect nicknamed the "opportunistic bandit" is believed responsible for a dozen crimes in Los Angeles and at least seven similar incidents in communities including Santa Monica and Pasadena.
The latest carjacking unfolded about 8:45 p.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of N. Highland Avenue in Hollywood when he hit a woman buying gas and stole her purse and car, police said.
While inside the gas station store, the suspect walked up to the woman and attempted a casual conversation. After she left the store and got into her car, he suddenly approached and jumped into the car through the passenger door.
Detectives say he then hit the woman "a number of times and forced her out of her car." He sped away in the car.
Police say the carjacker recently assaulted a 76-year-old woman while taking her car and purse.
LAPD Robbery-Homicide detectives said the suspect also enters occupied and unoccupied cars in business parking lots and steals purses. But he also has forcibly grabbed purses or money bags from unsuspecting victims, investigators said.
Detectives believe the same man is responsible for seven other crimes in Glendale, Pasadena, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.
Here are the locations of the Los Angeles crimes, according to police:
--Thursday, April 26, 10:45 a.m., a street robbery in the 16600 block of Ventura Boulevard.
--Thursday, April 26, 10:15 a.m., a carjacking in the 5200 block of Lankershim Boulevard.
--Wednesday, April 25, 10:20 a.m., a burglary in the 5100 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard.
--Wednesday, April 25, 9:55 a.m., a vandalism in the 12200 block of Ventura Boulevard.
--Monday, April 23, 9:25 a.m., a burglary from a vehicle in the 3000 block of Westwood Boulevard.
--Monday, April 23, 9:15 a.m., a street robbery in the 2900 block of Sepulveda Boulevard.
--Monday, April 23, 7:30 a.m., a theft in the 5200 block of Century Boulevard.
--Monday, April 23, 4:45 a.m., a vandalism in 3200 block of Cahuenga Boulevard.
--Friday, April 20, 8:50 p.m., a theft from a vehicle in the 2400 block of Lincoln Boulevard.
--Friday, April 20, 1:30 p.m., a carjacking in the 7800 block of Sunset Boulevard.
--Sunday, April 15, 8:50 p.m., a carjacking in the 1700 block of Highland Avenue.
--Saturday, April 14, 11:30 p.m., a street robbery in the 14000 of Ventura Boulevard.
Detectives say witnesses described the suspect as a black man with brown eyes, 5-feet-9 to 6-feet-4, 180 to 250 pounds and 25 to 35 years old with a bald head.
Anyone with information is asked to call Dets. Steve Koman or Tom Thornton (213) 486-6840 or (877) 527-3247. Anonymous calls may be made to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (800-222-8477).
-- Richard Winton