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Arrest in Westside robberies

August 26, 2008|Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writer

A man suspected of committing at least a dozen home invasion robberies targeting elderly women in the West Los Angeles area has been arrested, authorities said Monday.

The suspect, who was not immediately identified, has been booked on suspicion of robbery and assault in connection with a string of crimes that began in late May and left residents across the area on edge. He was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers at 3 a.m. Friday in Santa Monica; officials said he'd been preparing to strike again.

Investigators said they believe nine home invasion robberies in Los Angeles, two in Santa Monica and one in Culver City are tied to the suspect, as well as two attempted burglaries.

"The arrest was the result of intensive investigation conducted jointly by the Los Angeles and Santa Monica police departments and other entities," LAPD Deputy Chief Charlie Beck said.

"The physical arrest came as a result of work by our Special Investigations Section of the robbery-homicide division."

Sources familiar with the investigation said the suspect, who lived in South Los Angeles, would carefully case West Los Angeles neighborhoods, selecting his targets and returning later to carry out the robberies.

He had been tailed for weeks by Los Angeles police after Beverly Hills police tipped them off to a suspect in an old case who conducted crimes in a similar fashion, sources said. The suspect was due to return a rental car used in one incident the same day the crime was committed.

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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