Smash and Grab Robbers Targeting Broadway Gold
Suspects flee after a "smash-and-grab" robbery at a Broadway jewelry store this month.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Summer and high gold prices are combining to make Broadway's jewelry shops an attractive target for "smash-and-grab" robbers, but LAPD hopes a stepped-up attention on the street will dissuade would-be bandits.
Six similar robberies have occurred along Broadway since June 21. In each, a group of four to five suspects rush a store, smashing display cases and grabbing what they can before fleeing to a waiting car.
LAPD has made arrests in three of the six robberies, most recently collaring the 17-year-old from South L.A. who is seen wielding a hammer in the video below. Witnesses of that robbery at the Guadalajara Jewelry Plaza on July 12 wrote down the license plate number of the black BMW used for the gang's getaway, and police found the man inside the vehicle a short time later. In the car was a cloth bag containing hammers.
“With the price of gold now at $1,600 an ounce, gang members have seen the benefit in taking the risk,” explained Lt. Paul Vernon of LAPD's Central Division. “We’ve been in contact with a half dozen other agencies from Riverside to Ventura counties that have experienced similar robberies by the same type of suspects: groups of four to five Black gang members, between 17 and 30 years old.”
On July 6, police got the jump on four suspects as they were casing another Broadway shop. “We were able to show a conspiracy to commit robbery among 4 men after officers saw them casing stores," said Lt. Vernon.
Police hope word of their arrests dissuades potential robbers, and that the public might be able to help them identify suspects in the cases that remain outstanding. Anyone with information is asked to call Central Detectives at 213-972-1245.