LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) – A man is wanted in a string of violent robberies and a sexual assault that occurred over a four-day period at a senior housing complex in Long Beach, police said Wednesday.
According to Long Beach police, the four robberies occurred between Feb. 2 and Feb. 5 at the Carmelita senior housing complex near Atlantic Avenue and Via Carmelitos. All four victims were women between the ages of 63 and 95, police said. The robberies occurred at various times of day ranging from 5:45 a.m. and 7:45 p.m.
Police said that in almost every incident, the suspect knocked on the door, forced his way in and physically assaulted the victim. He would steal items including purses, cell phones and cash. In one case, the victim was walking near the complex.
In the most recent robbery, the victim was sexually assaulted, police said. The victim was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” said Miya Crutchfield, who has lived at the facility for eight years. “I don’t know what’s happening. Everything is out of control right now.”
Crutchfield told CBS2 that she knows two of the victims.
“I’m changing my lifestyle, I’m a free spirit. I like to just go. I’m gonna cut back on my nocturnal activity unless I’m with somebody.”
Adriana Rivas and her son, Emmanuel, walk their dog Gracie past the senior center every night. Rivas says she noticed a problem with a gate that leads onto the property on the same days the attacks occurred.
“That gate behind you has been open and jammed, and it doesn’t always close,” Rivas said.
CBS2 found that same gate open Wednesday night. Police have not disclosed how they believe the man accessed the property.
Police have released a surveillance photo of a person of interest in the case. He is described as an African-American man, between 25 and 30 years of age, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-11, with a thin to medium build. Anyone with information is asked to call Long Beach police at 562-570-7368.