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Police: Better footage would help us catch Van Nuys robber


This is not the armed robber in Van Nuys. This is footage of Patti Hearst robbing a San Francisco bank in 1974.

Police are looking for a single suspect in two armed robberies at area strip malls -- one Wednesday in Van Nuys and another Thursday in Sherman Oaks -- and say the case makes a useful reminder to small business owners to keep their surveillance equipment in good working condition.

In both robberies the culprit was described as a white man, about 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, in his 20s or 30s and with his face covered. He had short dark hair, carried a small semiautomatic handgun and could possibly be Armenian, according to Detective Glenn O’Shea of LAPD Van Nuys Division.

In both incidents the robber took cash directly from the businesses and fled, police said. No vehicle was seen.

“The video that we have is horrible,” O’Shea said, making it tougher for investigators to track down the robber. He told KPCC that “with one of these crimes” in particular, better footage would “absolutely” have aided in the investigation.