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Observant Shop Owner Foils Smash-and-Grab Plans

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, August 02, 2011, at 12:21PM
Broadway Gold Robbery Courtesy LAPD

Video still from a July smash-and-grab robbery on Broadway

An observant shop owner and a quick response by LAPD foiled the smash-and-grab robbery plans of five men armed with a hammer, gloves and pepper spray on Monday.

The five—three adults and two minors—were arrested after they circled the block outside a jewelry store at Broadway and 6th one too many times.

“The jewelry merchants are alert to this spree of smash-and-grab robberies,” Lt. Paul Vernon of the Central Detective Division explained.

When the shopkeeper saw the men drive by three times in five minutes, he pushed his panic alarm to alert police. The arriving officers saw the silver Cadillac drive by again while they were at the store, and stopped it for having covered-up plates.

The five were found wearing hooded sweatshirts despite the hot day, and two of the five were verified as members of a South L.A. gang.

Jabril Greene, 24, and Makrice Leonard, 18, were booked for Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, with bail set at $50,000. Two of the three juveniles, ages 16 to 17, were detained at Eastlake Juvenile Hall because of their prior criminal records, and the other juvenile was released to his parents. Three of the men lived in South Los Angeles, one juvenile lived in Compton, and one lived in Anaheim.

One of the men may have been involved in a previous Downtown robbery.

Police say that summer and the high price of gold are combining to make these smash-and-grab robberies an attractive target, and have been working to increase awareness of tell-tale signs that might signal an impending robbery.

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