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Manhattan Beach Police Department
420 15th Street       Manhattan Beach, CA      

(310) 802-5140

 Subject:      Rise in Street Robberies

Contact:     Brian Brown, Detective Sergeant
                     Tony DiGenova, Lieutenant 

Since mid-December 2008, there has been an unusual rise in street robberies in the Manhattan Beach area.  Five robberies have occurred, and in all but two, a handgun was brandished.  The robberies are as follows:
12/18/08    8pm   400 Block John Place
A couple were confronted by two young African American suspects armed with handguns in a full size SUV.  They were robbed of their belongings.  We believe this SUV drove around side streets looking for victims.
1/1/09        2am   500 Block Marine
Three teenagers were walking home when they were accosted by five young African American suspects who physically went through their pockets and relieved them of their belongings. 
1/2/09        7:30am       700 S. Aviation (AAA Office)
When an employee came to open the office, he was confronted by two young African American suspects armed with handguns.  They forced the victim inside and robbed the office of money.
1/3/09        8pm   Manhattan Village Mall
A teenager was sitting on a couch in the Mall when a young African American suspect grabbed her purse and tried to fleet.  They struggled over the purse and the suspect eventually ran off with it, out of the Mall. 
1/9/09        1am   700 Block Pacific Avenue
A young woman, while exiting her parked vehicle, was confronted by a young African American suspect armed with a handgun.  The suspect ran off with the victim's purse. 
While there are some similarities to the crimes, they are too sporadic and geographically wide spread to know if they are related to one another.  If anyone has any information about these robberies, please call our Detectives immediately. 
However, the main purpose of this press release is to make our community more aware of a rise in street robberies.  Robbers often lie in wait or drive slowly around "casing" or looking for potential victims.  Please be on heightened alert to your surroundings or call the police department if you see anyone loitering around your neighborhood or parked for an unusual amount of time with no apparent business.
The Manhattan Beach Police Department will increase patrols in the area, using both marked and unmarked vehicles, but, we need your help.  Call us for anything suspicious, however slight.  We are here to protect and to help foster the safest community possible.