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‘Western Bandit’ wanted in 9 armed robberies, transgender slaying

November 16, 2012 |  8:58 am

Los Angeles police are searching for a violent suspect they are calling the "Western Bandit," who has been linked to nine armed robberies and the killing of a transgender victim.

For more than a year, the LAPD says, the man has terrorized people and businesses along the Western Avenue corridor.

"It started about a year ago. We had a flurry of activity. We had several shootings and one that resulted in a homicide," said LAPD Lt. John Radke. "Some time after that, the shootings stopped, but later this summer, the suspect returned."

The suspect is now linked to nine armed robberies along Western Avenue, from Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood to Florence Avenue in South L.A.

"What's disturbing about this suspect is... unfortunately with this guy, he is quick to pull the gun and he is quick to use the gun," Radke said.

Last November, police say he shot a woman through her car window, grabbed her purse and then fled.

Another victim was shot even after giving the suspect her money, according to police.

Police also say he is responsible in the shooting death of a transgender woman in Hollywood, 32-year-old Nathan Vickers, whom friends called Cassidy.

Three of the victims were from the transgender community, Radke said.

"We have no evidence to suggest that this guy is specifically targeting people because of their sexual orientation, however we are greatly concerned," he said.

The suspect is believed to be between 35 and 40 years old. He is described as a black male, 5-foot-9 to 6 feet tall with a stocky build.

Anyone who has information about him is asked to call the LAPD at (877) LAPD-247 ([877] 527-3247).


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-- KTLA News