Police are looking for a man who allegedly robbed the same 7-Eleven store at gunpoint twice in a three-week period.
The first robbery took place on Oct. 6 at 4:30 a.m. at the store on the 700 block of West Vernon Avenue. According to the LAPD, the suspect is black, between 25 and 35 years old and around six feet tall. Police say he went into the store and ordered the lone employee to open the register, then lie face down on the ground. Once the employee had done that, the suspect reportedly took money from the register and fled.
The second robbery was on Oct. 24 at 3:20 a.m. at the same store, but two cashiers were on duty this time. Police say the suspect did the same exact thing, which is why they believe the incidents are related: He ordered them to open the register and then lie down. This time, though, he fled on a mountain bike, going eastward on Vernon Avenue. Police say the bike may be red or orange.
Detective Gerry Chamberlain, who investigates robberies for the LAPD's 77th Street Division, said police believe the suspect made off with around $200 on the first robbery and about $50 on the second. He added that wanted man doesn't appear to be local, and that it's also possible he's linked to other robberies besides these two. That's why the LAPD is going to the media, Chamberlain said.
"Based on his actions, it appears he's getting progressively more aggressive toward the patrons and the store employees," he said. He added that 7-Eleven customers were present during both robberies, and that in addition to making the employees lie face down, the suspect apparently made customers do the same thing.
The suspect was described as wearing a black beanie, black gloves, a black sweater, black pants and black shoes, as well as carrying a blue steel semiautomatic gun. He was captured by video surveillance during one of the robberies:
He is considered armed and dangerous, and Chamberlain said if anyone sees him, to immediately call 911.
The LAPD is asking anyone with other information to call Chamberlain or Detective Sean Horton at (213) 473-4861 during normal business hours. Otherwise, call the department's 24-hour line at 1-877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can also be called in to 1-800-222-8477, texted to 274637 or made online.