California children robbed of iPhones on their way to school
Girls were walking on Melrose Avenue between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is seeking the public's help in identifying four suspects accused of violently robbing two girls of their iPhones while they were on their way to school Wednesday.
Two suspects approached the girls as they were walking to Fairfax High School on the 7200 block of Melrose Avenue — a hub for shopping and dining between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood — just after 7 a.m.
The suspects allegedly struck them, pulled them to the ground by their hair and demanded they hand over their phones. Suspects held onto the victims' hair until they unlocked their phones and handed them over, the LAPD said.
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In security camera footage from a nearby building released by the department, a third suspect enters the picture after the first two suspects strike the victims. The third suspect appears to run off with an object in his hand and passes it to the fourth suspect.
Once the suspects appear to have both victims' phones and pass codes, they gradually walk away from the victims. The victims are 16- and 18-year-old sisters, according to ABC 7.
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The four suspects — described as two Black females, one Black male and one suspect wearing a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans — then fled the scene in what appeared to be a back sedan with tinted windows, according to the LAPD.
LAPD Lt. Daniel Gonzalez told ABC7 that a third student was robbed near Los Angeles High School on Olympic Boulevard by people whom police believe to be the same suspects using the same getaway car.
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There have been 541 total robberies so far in 2022, compared to 473 at the same time last year and 531 at the same time in 2020 — about a 14% increase year over year and a 2% increase compared to 2020, according to LAPD crime statistics for the week ending on Jan. 22.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact (231) 922-8217 during normal business hours or 1-877-LAPD-24-7 during nonbusiness hours and weekends.