LAPD searching for robbery suspects who targeted elderly victims, lured them to vehicles

Local news

The Los Angeles Police Department is asking for the public’s help finding robbers who for months have been targeting lone and elderly victims who they lure to their vehicles, authorities said Tuesday.

The string of robberies took place between Feb. 8 and Nov. 16, and involved female suspects who approach their victims in rental vehicles, some with out-of-state license plates.

The suspects would either ask for directions to a church or pharmacy, or offer assistance or free gold to the victims, or say that they wanted to “bless” the victim’s money, according to LAPD.

In two of the robberies, a suspect blew “an unknown powder-substance” in the victims’ faces before stealing their property, according to authorities.

“The suspects use these tactics to lure the elderly victims to their vehicle to commit these robberies, without having to step out of their vehicles, in an attempt to conceal their identities,” LAPD officials said in a news release.

The robberies were reported in the LAPD’s Rampart area, which serves communities including Echo Park, MacArthur Park, Pico-Union and Westlake.

Based on the descriptions and crime pattern, LAPD detectives believe the suspects are part of two crews working together, officials said.

Video released by police shows the suspects’ white vehicle abruptly driving away from a victim who had been speaking to someone in the back seat.

The suspects were described by police as being Hispanic or mixed race of Eastern Europe descent. The women have have blonde or black hair, some with gold teeth, and one with a “facial disfigurement.”

A male suspect is usually seen driving, while the female speak to the victims.

“They speak with a Middle Eastern accent when they speak English, however they are also fluent in Spanish,” LAPD said in a news release.

One female suspect always sits in the front passenger seat, while another female sits in the back and is the one that lures the victims to the vehicle. Sometimes, a child is seen in a car seat.

Authorities did not provide information on the items taken from the victims during the robberies or the number of incidents tied to the suspects.

Anyone with information on the crimes is urged to call Rampart Robbery Detective A. Trimino at 213-484-3631 or Detective III E. Ignacio at 213-484-3627. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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