Police say an armed-robbery suspect has hit at least two cellphone stores and is considered armed and dangerous. They say he's responsible for at least five armed robberies at businesses around El Sereno, and possibly Echo Park and Highland Park, mostly at cellphone stores, since August 31. He's used a gun and a machete in the robberies.
"The suspect enters a business, climbs over the counter or walks around and removes cash from the business," said LAPD Detective Juan Gonzalez. "At times the suspect has also taken property from the employees at the business."
Amanda Yunt, who works at a cellphone store, says she was victimized by the suspect last Saturday evening when he came in with a knife and demanded money.
"He say, 'Count to three, if I don't have the money, maybe I will do something,' and so I just turn on my machine and he take it," said Yunt.
She said after realizing no one was there to help her, she opened the cash register and gave him the money.
"They say, 'OK, give me the money,' and this time I was just looking, maybe some people can help me, and no customers are coming," said Yunt.
At a news conference Friday at the LAPD Hollenbeck station, police asked for the public's assistance to help find the man who continues to rob businesses in the area.
"Due to the suspect being armed with a handgun and also a machete, we just want to try and arrest this person before any danger comes to any public citizen," said Gonzalez.
He's described as a Hispanic man about 25 to 30 years old with black hair, standing between 5 feet 7 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing about 185 to 200 pounds. He also has several distinguishing tattoos on both arms.
"He has a large 'LA' on his right elbow, and the image of a demon just above it on his upper arm," said Gonzalez. "The suspect also has several tattoos on his back. More notably he has the image of a female on his upper right back."
Police say no witnesses have seen him leave in a vehicle -- he appears to flee on foot. But he's considered armed and dangerous, and appears to be growing more violent.
If you have information related to the case, contact the Los Angeles Police Department at (800) 222-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.