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Robber targeting elderly strikes again

August 1, 2008 6:54:36 AM PDT
A suspect believed to have committed several home invasion robberies on the Westside has struck again, this time during the day.The latest robbery was on Tuesday afternoon near the 2500 block of Westwood Boulevard just south of Pico Boulevard.

Police say the suspect approached a 96-year-old woman outside her home and forced her to go inside where he ransacked her home at about 4 p.m. He fled with stolen property.

She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Police say there have been 12 separate incidents since last May, but this is the first the robber struck during daytime hours. The suspect is normally wearing a ski mask and carries a gun. Police believe the suspect is getting eve bolder.

The string of incidents has West L.A. residents on alert.

"It's relatively a peaceful area, very safe," said Phillip Omar, a concerned resident. "Sign of times I guess," Omar said.

Manuel Lomeli said he has never seen this type of crime in the neighborhood since he moved in about 38 years ago.

"From now on, we have to be very be careful," he said.

One of the suspect's earliest victims was 84-year-old Earnestine Avilar. She said he demanded money, gold and cash while holding her at gunpoint.

The suspect is described as a black man, 25 to 40 years old, about six feet tall and 200 pounds, wearing dark clothing, dark gloves and a ski mask.

Anyone with information is urged to call (877) LAW-FULL or (877) 529-3855. Eyewitness News reporters Leslie Sykes and Miriam Hernandez contributed to this report.

 

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