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'Midnight Bandit' commits 58 armed robberies

June 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The search is on for a brazen armed robber dubbed the "Midnight Bandit." Police say he strikes mostly at night and has hit dozens of gas stations and convenience stores in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Monday, investigators released new photos of the suspect.

One woman came face to face with the suspect.

From Norwalk to Lakewood to Hawthorne, investigators say the same man is responsible for 58 armed robberies at local gas stations and convenience stores.

"The suspect typically averages about six robberies a month," said L.A. County Sheriff's Lt. Kent Wegener.

At a Monday morning news conference, Wegener said the suspect almost always strikes in the middle of the night. Surveillance cameras have failed to capture a clear image of the suspect -- until now.

In March, the "Midnight Bandit" robbed a gas station and convenience store on the 3800 block of Florence Avenue in Bell. Surveillance video from a neighboring business shows the suspect exiting a late-model silver Jaguar sedan. It's one of the few robberies the suspect ever committed during daylight hours.

The clerk who works at the Bell gas station did not want to go on camera but she recounted her horrifying ordeal.

"It was very scary because from the moment I saw [him], I just turned around and I saw his finger on the trigger, and I was like, 'That's it, this is my last day here' because I know he's going to get mad if we don't give him all the money he wants, and then he's going to shoot us," said the employee.

Investigators are hoping this latest video will help lead them to an arrest.

The suspect is described as a black male about 25 to 30 years old, standing about 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds.

"He's not stopping, and it's up to us to stop him," said Wegener.

Anyone with information about the "Midnight Bandit" should call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau at (562) 946-7893.


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