The Los Angeles Police Department will create a task force to investigate follow-home robberies after the latest such crime outside a Hollywood restaurant.
The announcement from Chief Michel Moore follows the fatal shooting of a man early Tuesday outside Bossa Nova Restaurant. Moore said the shooting is believed to be another follow-home or follow-away robbery in which thieves target victims who are seen in public, often at a restaurant or bar, with expensive jewelry or high-end cars.
Earlier this month. robbers followed a couple from a Hollywood bar to a home 50 miles away in Upland, then held them at gunpoint and used a stun gun on one of the victims after he refused to give up his car. Thieves left with a wristwatch in the early morning attack outside of the couple’s home that was all caught on camera.
Other follow-away heists have been reported near popular shopping and dining areas, like the Fairfax District.
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The Robbery Homicide Follow-Home Robbery Task Force will have more than 20 detectives. Moore said the department has identified 133 instances believed to be follow-home robberies.
“They'll work moving forward on identifying these individuals responsible and pursuing and bringing them before the criminal justice system,'' Moore said. “The impact this is having on the sense of community, of safety, is profound.''
Moore said that robberies in Los Angeles have decreased over a two-year period, but they're more violent than in the past, with more criminals being armed with firearms and have “the potential for matters to escalate to something that we saw this morning,'' Moore said.