One person has been arrested in an armed robbery of customers as they were dining outside a cafe in the Fairfax District earlier this week, and the suspect is connected to a series of other crimes, police said Thursday.
The incident took place just before 5 p.m. Tuesday at the La Creme Cafe located at 7376 Melrose Avenue, and it was all caught on surveillance video.
The robbers, who were both wearing hoodies, approached and brandished a gun at three people sitting at a table. They took the victims’ belongings before fleeing the scene, the video shows.
One of the victims dropped her phone during the incident, and the video shows one of the robbers picking it up and putting it in a purse, which was then stolen.
The customers appeared visibly shaken. One man held out his arms while his watch was stolen, and another victim had her hands over her mouth during the robbery.
No injuries were reported.
“We are disturbed by this brazen daytime robbery which was captured on video,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said in a news release.
On Thursday, LAPD officials identified 23-year-old Quioness Wilson as a suspect in the brazen robbery and said he is allegedly responsible for several other robberies in the Fairfax District, downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood.
The other robber seen in the video of Tuesday’s incident remains outstanding.
Wilson was identified and arrested Wednesday after he was seen in Pasadena driving a vehicle used in a series of robberies being investigated by LAPD’s elite Robbery Homicide division. Police found additional evidence associated to the robberies after a search of Wilson’s home, officials said in a news release.
Authorities now are asking for the public’s help identifying two other people tied to Tuesday’s incident as well as the following robberies:
- An attempt robbery at 1 p.m. Sept. 1 at 11th Street east of Santee Street.
- A robbery at 2:50 p.m. Sept. 1 at 504 W. Olympic Blvd.
- A robbery at 4:32 p.m. Sept. 1 at Gardner Street and Melrose Avenue.
- A robbery at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at 7726 Melrose Ave.
- A robbery at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday at 939 S. Hill Street.
- A robbery at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday at 1716 Whitley Ave.
The other two people sought in the above incidents were only described as Black males.
Crime has been an ongoing issue in the Fairfax neighborhood, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The owner of the cafe in Tuesday’s incident told KTLA that in his nine years running a business along Melrose Avenue, he has never seen so much crime in the area.
“A lot of visitors and tourists stop coming here,” the owner said. “When they stop coming here, more and more merchants and business owners are going to move their businesses, they’re going to go somewhere safer and this street’s going to die.”
Just last month, a Shoe Palace employee named Jayren Bradford was fatally shot during a shoe raffle in the Fairfax District.
Police arrested a 16-year-old one day later on suspicion of murder in the killing of Bradford.
And in July, a would-be victim shot two men during a robbery attempt near Melrose Avenue and Vista Street.
The two men who confronted the would-be victim were shot, but their injuries were not life-threatening, police said. They were eventually apprehended by responding officers.
Anyone with additional information about Tuesday’s incident, or any of the other robberies listed above, is urged to call the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide division, robbery special section at 213-486-6840.