THREE ARRESTED AS SUSPECTS IN 40 ARMED ROBBERIES.Byline: Josh Kleinbaum Staff Writer
Three gang members were in custody Friday, suspected in a five-month string of armed robberies and muggings, and police are seeking a fourth member of the ring.
Police believe the suspects committed more than 40 armed robberies since August, stealing cell phones, jewelry, cash and car keys, officials said. The suspects would sometimes return to steal the victim's car.
They targeted Hispanic immigrants or graffiti taggers whom they believed would not report the crimes to police, officials said. Police are reviewing crime reports from the past six months to see whether these suspects fit the suspect descriptions from other crimes.
``Every robbery, we believe there was a gun used,'' said LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department. Officer Dan Fournier, a gang detective. ``It was just a matter of time before they used it on somebody.''
Police say they identified the suspects after one of the attacks was captured by surveillance video taken in a 7-Eleven store at Saticoy Street and Lankershim Boulevard.
Javier Velasquez, 25, Gerardo Haro, 20, and Juan Castro Juan Castro (born Juan Gabriel Castro in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico on June 20, 1972) is a Major League Baseball infielder. He is a currently a shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds. Castro bats right-handed, throws right-handed, and wears number 9. , 19, were arrested Dec. 30. A fourth suspect, Jaime Villalvazo, 22, remained at large.
Velasquez, the suspected ringleader ring·lead·er
A person who leads others, especially in illicit or informal activities.
a person who leads others in illegal or mischievous actions
Noun 1. , has been charged with three counts of robbery and carjacking The criminal taking of a motor vehicle from its driver by force, violence, or intimidation.
The u.s. justice department categorizes the crime of carjacking as a "completed or attempted Robbery of a motor vehicle by a stranger , Fournier said. Haro and Castro were each charged with one count of robbery and carjacking.
Villalvazo is wanted on suspicion of robbery, attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon Assault with a Deadly Weapon is the term used to describe the act of threatening to harm one or more people by using a weapon (usually a firearm). Here, assault must be differentiated from battery as they are often confused. Assault is threatening to use force. .
Police identified the suspects after a Dec. 27 robbery in which they tried to steal a cell phone from a victim inside the 7-Eleven, Fournier said. Outside the store, they robbed a man at gunpoint, ripping his earrings out of his ears and stealing his car, Fournier said.
When police served a search warrant at Velasquez's residence, they found the earrings and evidence of other robberies - empty wallets and a torn-up driver's license Noun 1. driver's license - a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
driver's licence, driving licence, driving license
license, permit, licence - a legal document giving official permission to do something
from a man who'd reported being mugged a week earlier.
Villalvazo, who goes by the street name Rascal, is 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Anybody with information on his whereabouts is asked to call (818) 623-4071 during business hours BUSINESS HOURS. The time of the day during which business is transacted. In respect to the time of presentment and demand of bills and notes, business hours generally range through the whole day down to the hours of rest in the evening, except when the paper is payable it a bank or by a , and (818) 623-4016 during nights and weekends.
Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 713-3669