Los Angeles police are looking for information on a group of thieves who lure contract workers into their vehicles with the promise of a job, then drive them to an unfamiliar area and rob them in the street at gunpoint.
The crime series targeting Latino men who work in construction and landscaping began Jan. 27 and has continued over the past few months around Panorama City and North Hills, the L.A. Police Department said in a news release.
The robberies occur between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the most recent incident on March 16, investigators said.
The thieves wait outside banks and check cashing businesses, then approach contract workers who emerge and ask them for help moving furniture. The victims agree and get into the robber’s vehicle, LAPD said.
The victims are then taken to a residential street in an unfamiliar area, where the robber brandishes a firearm and demands cash. The victims comply out of fear, according to detectives.
The thieves then flee, leaving the victim stranded.
Police describe the suspects as Latino men in their 40s with brown hair and brown eyes. They’re believed to measure between 5 feet 6 inches and 6 feet tall and weigh around 240 to 300 pounds.
They use pickup trucks and SUVs of various models and colors, officials said.
Anyone with information can contact LAPD robbery detectives at 818-838-9895, or call 877-527-3247 after business hours and on weekends. Anonymous tips may be submitted via 800-222-8477 or LACrimeStoppers.org.