Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department detectives asked for the public's help today in identifying a man known as the "Safety Vest Bandit," who is suspected of committing 12 armed robberies throughout Los Angeles County since 2011.
The suspect, who appears to be in his 30s, is black, 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall and 225 to 250 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair. He often wears a baseball cap, and during the earlier robberies, he wore a green reflective safety vest, sheriff's investigators said.
Since November 2011, the suspect has robbed several Walgreens and CVS drug stores in Norwalk, Long Beach, Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Carson, and Lomita, according to the sheriff's department.
The most recent robbery occurred Sunday at a CVS store in Lomita, said Lt. Kent Wegener of the LASD's Major Crimes Bureau, who said the suspect carries a semi-automatic pistol and should be considered armed and dangerous.
"This is one of the most active armed robbers in Los Angeles County this year,'' Wegener said. "We are hoping that the public will help us identify him before his violence escalates.''
Detectives have released surveillance photos of the suspect in hopes that someone will recognize him and come forward before he strikes again.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Detectives Rich Alvarado or Nick Cannis at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Detail at (562) 946-7893. Those wishing to stay anonymous, can also call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
- City News Service contributed to a portion of this report.