LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Police on Tuesday released surveillance video footage of suspect believed to have committed at least five carjackings and at least a dozen strong-arm robberies throughout the Southland.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports the so-called “Opportunistic Bandit” has primarily targeted women during his crime spree.

The suspect is wanted for 12 crimes in Los Angeles alone and another seven in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Glendale and Pasadena over the last four weeks.

Authorities on Tuesday released circulted security video of a carjacking that occurred about 8:45 p.m. April 15 at a gas station in the 1700 block of Highland Avenue.

The suspect followed the woman to her car, got in on the passenger’s side, struck her, forced her out of her vehicle, and drove off with it, also taking her purse.

LAPD Robbery Detective Steve Koman said the victims are mostly female, including one recent target who is 76 years old.

“He will go in and do whatever he has to do to take those people’s property, whether it’s a vehicle, whether it’s a purse, whatever the case may be, to physically assault these people to take their property,” said Koman.

The suspect is black, about 25-35 years of age, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 180-250 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

The man has simulated having a firearm but has not displayed one. Some of the victims have suffered minor injuries in the crimes but detectives are concerned the violence could escalate, police said.

The man generally approaches his victims, mostly women, after they have obtained money at ATMs at banks or convenience stores,” said Hayes.

Two of the vehicles taken by the suspect are still being sought, including a silver 2000 Mercedes-Benz S500, license number 6BUF553, which was carjacked at 1:30 p.m. April 20 in the 7800 block of Sunset Boulevard; and a gray 2006 Toyota SUV, license number 5TRV609, carjacked from a 76-year-old woman at 10:15 a.m. April 26 in the 5200 block of Lankershim Boulevard. He also took the woman’s purse.

He also has committed street robberies, burglaries from motor vehicles, and vandalism. Twelve of the crimes occurred in Los Angeles, and the remaining ones occurred in the other cities.

Anyone with information about the suspect was urged to call the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, (213) 486-6840, or (877) LAPD-24-7.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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