HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Police are asking for the public’s help to track down an armed and dangerous man who may be linked to a murder and a string of robberies in Los Angeles.
KNX 1070′s John Brooks reports the suspect known as the “Western Bandit” is accused of nine armed robberies within the last year at businesses on Western Avenue from Los Feliz to South Los Angeles.
“The ‘Western Bandit’ has been responsible for street robberies, primarily he’s robbing people that are sitting in cars or perhaps walking out on the street. He approaches them by riding a bicycle or walks up. And then demands property. And unfortunately he’s been violent in many of these contacts,” LAPD Lt. John Radtke said.
In an Oct. 6 incident, the suspect was caught on surveillance video robbing 7-11 employees at gunpoint in the 700 block of West Vernon Avenue.
The man is also suspected in the Nov. 2011 killing of a 32-year-old transgender woman near Lexington Avenue and Gower Street in Hollywood.
Police said the suspect walked up to Nathan Henry Vickers, shot her and then ran off.
The suspect is described as a black man, 5 feet 9 inches tall with a stocky build. He is between 35 to 45-years-old and may be of a Middle Eastern or Latino descent.
Officials said they are beefing up patrols in the area of the robberies, especially from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.