LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Police Friday arrested a Lynwood man in connection with a string or violent robberies and assaults, targeting five seniors in Long Beach in the past week.
Melvin Farmer Jr. was taken into custody at about 9:15 a.m. near his residence in Lynwood the day after investigators released security video of the suspect, asking for the public’s help with identifying him.
The 39-year-old was being held on $2 million bail and has a long criminal history, according to a police press release.
“When you get victims that are between the ages of their 60’s and 90’s, and you see the level of violence that was used against these victims, it’s not only sad. But frankly, it upsets us,” Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said in a news conference Friday afternoon.
A 31-year-old Lynwood woman was also arrested as Farmer’s accomplice. Her bail is set at $20,000.
The latest crime occurred about 7:25 a.m. Thursday at a house on Pacific Avenue.
Police said Farmer rang the doorbell. When a 90-year-old woman answered the door, he punched her in the face, forced his way into her house, robbed her and tried to rape her. But she managed to fight him off.
The victim was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to investigators.
“I’m just thankful that they’ve gotten the man who did this,” said the victim’s friend John Hamilton. “We just appreciate all the efforts and the work that the police did in trying to keep this place as safe as possible.”
Detectives tied Farmer to four other crimes about two and a half miles away at a senior housing complex near Atlantic Avenue and Via Carmelitos.