A gun-wielding robber who slides across counters and demands employees provide cash from registers and safes has targeted gas station marts and fastfood restaurants 11 times since December, three since Sunday, according to Los Angeles police.
"This is violent crime," said Officer Mike Lopez of the LAPD, citing the demands made at gunpoint.
From security camera video, it appears the armed robber may have a limp, but it has not stopped him from repeatedly getting away before security or law enforcement can respond. It is not known if he has a getaway vehicle nearby, Lopez said.
Investigators trace the series to a robbery last December just outside the city of Los Angeles, in Inglewood.
Since then, businesses have been victimized on both the south and west sides of LA, with several in the Mid-City area and locations on such major boulevards as Wilshire, Washington, Obama and La Cienega.
One location was robbed late at night, but in all the others, the robber struck between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., according to Lopez. In the most recent robbery Monday morning on Fairfax Avenue, no one was at the counter when the robber approached, hurdled the counter and confronted an employee in the kitchen.
Since the connection between the various robberies became apparent, the LAPD's elite Robbery Homicide Division has taken charge of the investigation. This past week, the offering of a $25,000 reward was approved by the Los Angeles City Council on a motion from City Council President Herb Wesson.
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The robber is described as a man in his 30s, about 6 feet tall, 150-180 pounds and seen wearing a dark t-shirt over a hooded one. The robber was also carrying a handgun.