Police released security video Tuesday of a man who they say committed carjackings and about a dozen strong-arm robberies and other crimes recently across Los Angeles, and in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Glendale and Pasadena.
The suspect, dubbed the "Opportunistic Bandit," was described as black, about 25-35 years of age, 5-feet 9-inches to 6-feet 4-inches tall, weighing 180-250 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
The man generally approaches his victims, mostly women, after they have obtained money at ATMs at banks or convenience stores, said Capt. William Hayes of the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division.
The footage released Tuesday is of a carjacking that occurred at about 8:45 p.m. April 15 at a gas station at Franklin Avenue and Highland Avenue. The suspect followed the woman to her car, got in on the passenger's side, struck her, forced her out of her vehicle, and drove off with it, also taking her purse.
In Santa Monica, the suspect stole a car April 20 from a woman pumping gas at the AM PM at Fourth Street and Pico Boulevard. The car was recovered six days later and may have been "used in a few of the other crimes that the LAPD is mentioning," said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis.
The same man also has committed street robberies, burglaries from motor vehicles, and vandalism. Twelve of the crimes occurred in Los Angeles, and the remaining ones occurred in the other cities.
Other victims have identified him from the security video as the man who accosted them, Hayes said.
The man has simulated having a firearm but has not displayed one. Some of the victims have suffered minor injuries in the crimes but detectives are concerned the violence could escalate, according to Hayes.
Two of the vehicles taken by the suspect are still being sought. They are:
- A silver 2000 Mercedes-Benz S500, license number 6BUF553, which was carjacked at 1:30 p.m. April 20 in the 7800 block of Sunset Boulevard
- A gray 2006 Toyota SUV, license number 5TRV609, carjacked from a 76- year-old woman at 10:15 a.m. April 26 in the 5200 block of Lankershim Boulevard. He also took the woman's purse.
The Los Angeles crimes identified are as follows:
- Street Robbery at 16600 Ventura Blvd. in Encino
- Car Jacking at 5200 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood
- Burglary at 5100 Laurel Canyon Blvd. in Valley Village
- Vandalism at 12200 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City
- Burglary from motor vehicle at 3000 Westwood Blvd. in West L.A.
- Street Robbery at 2900 Sepulveda Blvd. in Palms
- Theft at 5200 Century Blvd. in Century City
- Vandalism at 3200 Cahuenga Blvd. in Studio City
- Theft from motor vehicle at 2400 Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica
- Car Jacking at 7800 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles
- Car Jacking at 1700 Highland Ave. in Hollywood
- Street Robbery at 14000 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks
Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to call the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division at 213-486-6840 or 877-LAPD-24-7.