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Police suspect 'Western Bandit' in 2 more robberies

January 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Authorities said it appears that a dangerous serial robber dubbed the "Western Bandit" has struck again.

Police believe he's responsible for a robbery on Jan. 8, in which a witness was shot and wounded, and for an attempted robbery that same day.

One of the robberies happened after 7 p.m. at 35th and Western in South Los Angeles

The "Western Bandit" has targeted convenience stores and other businesses along a six-mile section of Western Avenue from Hollywood to South Los Angeles. Police believe the man is connected to at least four violent robberies in the last two years. The latest two happened just last week. Police say in each robbery the man did not only pull out a gun -- he used it.

Police said the victim is in the hospital in critical condition. They say less than an hour after robbing and shooting that victim the bandit struck again.

"At Bronson and Country Club, this time he was riding a bike, possibly a dark mountain-bike, approached a suspect on foot, and then demanded the money as well. Same thing as the first incident," said No. "This time he sees a witness. Knowing the fact that there's a witness out there, he turns around and shoots him, and he also gets hit in the arm."

Investigators believe he's also responsible for the robbery and murder of Nathan "Cassidy" Vickers, an alleged transgender prostitute, in November 2011.

Police say from 2011 to now, this series of robberies and shootings have occurred in the areas of Olympic, Hollywood, Southwest and 77th divisions. In each incident he has used his handgun.

The armed robber is described as a black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall to 6 feet tall, stocky build with short curly hair in his mid 30s to 50s.

Anyone with information related to the case should contact the LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7 or Los Angeles Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.


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