Police Seek Attempted Robbery Suspect

West L.A. Division of LAPD reports man assaults elderly woman in Brentwood, then attempts removing her jewelry. Read below on how to protect yourself.

Los Angeles police are on the lookout for a man who assaulted an elderly woman in Brentwood Tuesday in broad daylight and tried to remove a ring from her finger, unsuccessfuly.

The incident occurred on Jan. 22 at 10:35 a.m. in the 200 block of South Anita Avenue. Police say a 72-year-old woman was returning home after shopping when a man, described as black or Hispanic, 5'11'' and 150 pounds, between 18 and 20 years old in dark clothing with a hood, approached her when she went to retrieve her trash bins from the street.

The man reportedly ran up to the woman and sprayed an "unknown chemical type substance" in her face. While debilitated, the suspect tried to remove a large diamond ring from her finger.

Police say the woman screamed and the suspect fled the property.

Here's a note from Senior Lead Officer Maria Gray on how you can protect yourself from robberies:

Your demeanor:

  • Trust your instincts - If you sense trouble, get away as soon as possible.
  • Show confidence - Walk at a steady pace, keep your head up and avoid carrying lots of packages. It can make you look defenseless.
  • Don't look like an easy target – Robbers want someone who will provide the least resistance. If you look like you know where you are going, walk with your head up and eyes alert, you will most likely be left alone.
  • Be observant
  • Remain alert and observe people around you - Know who is walking behind and in front of you. Things to watch for include suspicious persons or vehicles, people who are wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather (Example: A long trench coat in the middle of summer), and people just loitering around.

What is a Robbery?
Robbery means the taking of money or other property from the custody of a person or owner with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or owner through use of force, violence, assault or putting in fear. It can happen to anyone, at anytime, at anyplace!

  • Walk in well-lit areas. If possible, never walk alone.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you think you are being followed, go to a crowded area.
  • Do NOT carry large amounts of money.
  • Carry keys in your hand.
  • If you observe suspicious persons or activities, call law enforcement to investigate.

In the event a robber confronts you:

  • Do not take any action that could jeopardize your personal safety or the safety of others.
  • Remain calm and do as you are told.
  • Carefully observe the physical characteristics of the robber.
  • Be a good witness. Note as much detail about the suspect(s) as possible. (Age, race, height, facial hair, speech, clothing, odor, etc.)

After the robbery:

  • When it is safe, notify the police by calling 911.
  • Law enforcement will ask for the following information: location of robbery, whether anyone is injured, the exact time the robber(s) left and their direction of travel, the kind of weapon used, description of the vehicle, the robber(s), their clothing, appearance or unique features, money or items taken, and other information to assist responding officers.
  • Protect the scene of the crime. Do not touch anything! You might destroy evidence.
  • Ask all witnesses to stay until law enforcement arrives. Allow no one in except the police or emergency personnel.
  • Write down all suspect information immediately and do not discuss the robbery with anyone until questioned by the police.

For Businesses - Become security conscious!

  • Don't be afraid to call the police if you see something suspicious. Keep law enforcement emergency and non-emergency phone numbers handy.
  • Maintain visibility into your place of business
  • Never block the view into your business by crowding windows with signs or merchandise.
  • Use low display counters and cases to maintain visibility from both inside and outside the business.
  • Keep all entrances, exits, and parking areas well lighted.
  • Secure your cashier operation.
  • Install barriers high enough to keep unauthorized persons out of the area where cash transactions take place. Place the cash register a safe distance from the door, but not so far back that it is not visible from outside.
  • Keep a spare key and phone hidden in the freezer or storeroom. Install a hold-up alarm system, with points throughout the business. Periodically test the system with the assistance of the alarm company.
  • Keep cash on premises to a minimum. Make frequent cash drops at varied times of the day or week. Use two or more employees to make cash drops or use a courier service.
  • Keep your safe locked at all times. Review robbery procedures and alarm system operations frequently with your employees.
  • Keep key holder information up to date with law enforcement and alarm company.
  • Use one or more persons to open and/or close the business. There is better safety in numbers.

If you see anything that you feel is suspicious, but not an emergency, go to www.alertcommunity.com. It allows citizens to document suspicious activity quickly, easily, and anonymously.

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