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2 Masked Men Sought in Follow-Home Robberies

October 14, 2000

TORRANCE — Authorities are searching for at least two masked men, armed with handguns, who are responsible for at least five nighttime robberies in Torrance and Rancho Palos Verdes this week.

Torrance police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Kreager said victims described the robbers as wearing masks from the movie "Scream"--white ghost masks with black hoods-- or "Friday the 13th" hockey masks and dark knitted caps.

In one case a male victim was pistol-whipped, but no other victims were injured.

Kreager said in each case the robbers' method was the same: "As people come home from events, they confront people in their garages, padding people down for wallets." No cars have been seen or heard.

According to Sheriff's Det. Chuck Braden, none of the victims noticed anyone following them until they were assaulted in their own driveways or garages.

"It's a great reminder to the public that they need to be aware of their surroundings. If they think they're being followed, they should use their cell phones, drive to the nearest police department, or at least to a well-lighted spot," Kreager said.

Authorities said so far there does not appear to be a connection with the killings of a Rancho Palos Verdes couple in their home last week. But Braden said detectives have not ruled out the possibility that the masked robbers were the killers.

Authorities are asking the public's help. Call (310) 328-3456 or (310) 539-1661.

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