Police sought public help today to find two men dubbed the "Painter Mask" robbers, who have committed at least six armed "takeover" robberies in Los Angeles and are suspected in similar crimes in Gardena, Hawthorne and East Los Angeles.
Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas on Wednesday proposed a $50,000 reward for information leading to the suspects' capture.
"The criminals responsible for these robberies represent an ongoing threat to the safety of the people of Los Angeles," Cardenas said. "Public participation works at stopping criminals and I'm urging the community to come forward and help us apprehend these individuals before they put more lives in danger."
Authorities today circulated security photos showing the men wearing painters masks, but they have also worn ski masks or bandannas, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
One man is about 30-40 years of age, between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs about 175 pounds, and has a light mustache. The other man is about 25-30 years of age, between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall, and weighs about 175 pounds. He has a mustache, sideburns and a possible "chin strap" beard.
On Nov. 18, 2011, about 8:30 p.m., the suspects committed their first armed robbery at an auto parts store in the 24800 block of South Western Avenue in the San Pedro area.
They are also accused of burglaries including:
-- On Dec. 17, 2011, about 8:35-8:45 p.m., they robbed two businesses in the same general area as their first crime.
-- On Jan. 13, about 6:30 p.m., they robbed a business in the 11500 block of Santa Monica Boulevard in the West Los Angeles area.
-- On Feb. 16 about 9 p.m., they robbed a business in the 7000 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in North Hollywood.
-- On Feb. 17 about 8:50 p.m., they robbed a business in the 800 block of North Western Avenue in the Hollywood area.
Their method of operation is to take cash from registers and safes, and personal property from the store employees. They have targeted auto parts stores and a pharmacy, usually around closing time.
Anyone with information was urged to call LAPD Detective Maria Tomes, (213) 486-6840, or (877) LAPD-24-7.