LAPD to increase patrols along Melrose Avenue amid string of robberies

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department expects to significantly increase its presence on Melrose Avenue following a recent string of armed robberies.

LAPD plans to flood the popular shopping district with additional foot patrols, along with officers on horseback - a move aimed at scaring off thieves.

Longtime residents hope it's enough to put a stop to the wave of robberies.

"I've been here over 30 years, and I've never seen it this bad before," said Ronald Ashford, who hopes the extra patrols will deter crime.

Frustrated residents had the chance to express their concern over the recent string of robberies during a virtual town hall meeting hosted by the LAPD Wednesday evening.

Local residents and business owners say they have grown increasingly concerned about a rise in brazen crime in the area.

Surveillance video has captured some of the incidents. In one video from earlier this month, robbers were seen pointing a gun at diners before taking off with purses and shopping bags.

RELATED: Sidewalk diners robbed at gunpoint on Melrose in terrifying incident caught on video
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A terrifying armed robbery of sidewalk diners on Melrose Avenue was caught on camera.

The alleged getaway driver in that incident has been arrested, while police continue to search for two more suspects. They're believed to be linked to at least six robberies this month.

In March a man was assaulted and robbed at gunpoint on Melrose in West Hollywood.

And in February, there were reports of several robberies of Rolex watches taken from people walking on the street in Melrose.

LAPD says robberies involving a gun have jumped close to 75% in the Wilshire and Hollywood divisions in the last year.

RELATED: Armed robbers targeting people wearing Rolexes in Melrose area
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Armed robbers have been targeting people wearing Rolexes and other expensive jewelry in the Melrose area, police say.

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