Southern California breaking news and trends

Knife-wielding man’s robbery thwarted, barricades self in West Hollywood bathroom

KNBC

Police and SWAT teams set up a command post in the parking lot of a coffee shop near Beverly and Robertson boulevards.

A knife-wielding robber messed with the wrong guy, police say, after a retired cop thwarted his robbery attempt last night in a West Hollywood restaurant, then chased him into the bathroom of a fancy clothing store.

That’s where the would-be robber barricaded himself, police say, leading to a big scene as SWAT teams set up a perimeter and worked on talking him out. He finally surrendered after a three-hour standoff.

According to KTLA and other reports, the retired Simi Valley police officer was having dinner with his girlfriend at The 3rd Stop restaurant near Robertson Boulevard and 3rd Street around 8 p.m. when an apparently homeless man walked right up to their table, pulled out an 8-inch kitchen knife and demanded their food.

The cop, who has the amazing name of Kido Ebrahimzedah, pulled a gun on that knife fight and the would-be robber turned and ran.

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Cash-flying, dog-biting, van-jumping, police-chase suspect in court, accused of 5 bank heists

police dog

Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr Creative Commons

Not an actual police dog.

Jerry Lee Franklin, the parolee accused of robbing five banks Southern California banks last year, and recently leading police on a cash-flying, dog-biting, van-jumping, credit union-heisting police chase, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in West Covina Superior Court.

Los Angeles County prosecutors are charging 39-year-old Franklin with five counts of second degree robbery, and one count of evading police, following his April 23 arrest.

He faces more than 24 years in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors are seeking bail to be set at $1.2 million.

The alleged robberies occured:

  • U.S. Bank, Hacienda Heights - July 6, 2011 
  • Bank of the West, Rowland Heights - July 12, 2011
  • Bank of the West, Rowland Heights - January 11, 2012
  • Citibank, Rowland Heights - January 14, 2012
  • First Federal Credit Union, West Covina -  April 23, 2012

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The cash-flying, dog-biting, van-jumping, bank-robbing police chase you might have missed

police dog

Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr Creative Commons

Not an actual police dog.

A wild goose chase ended with a dog bite after a robbery suspect led police on pursuit through a Los Angeles suburb on Monday.

According to West Covina police, the man jumped into a white van outside a freshly-robbed credit union and took off to Whittier where the van slowed just enough for a woman, presumed to be the suspect's girlfriend, to hoist herself through a rear window of the moving vehicle.

The van stopped shortly after and the woman surrendered. The man did not. Authorities sent in a K-9 officer that bit his legs, causing the suspect, and the cash, to spill from the van, say authorities.

The man was hospitalized for the dog bite and the woman was arrested. No names have been released. A gun tossed from the vehicle was reportedly recovered by police.

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner

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Masked gunmen take thousands in cash from Montebello Sears

city-data.com

The Sears outlet located at 1401 N Montebello Blvd. in Montebello

Sears, land of cheap clothes and lawnmowers, is not the most common target for armed robbery. Nonetheless, on Monday night two masked gunmen barged into the outlet in the Montebello Town Square Shopping Center, ordered everyone on the ground and made off with a large amount of cash, police say.

The robbery occurred at about 8:45 p.m., when two men wearing hoodies and ski masks (KABC says “masks and bandanas), entered the store at 1401 N. Montebello Blvd. and announced their presence by making everyone get down. They reportedly took around $16,000 in cash from a register -- only one -- and fled in a dark-colored SUV heading southbound on Montebello Boulevard. They remain at large.

No one was injured and no shots were fired, although a female shopper was reportedly robbed of her cash as well.

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Thieves make off with safe containing $10 million in Hancock Park

Hancock Park

Google Maps

A Hancock Park resident had $10 million in a safe in his home. Keyword: had.

Sometimes a safe is not so safe after all, as a Hancock Park resident discovered recently after burglars took $10 million in cash and valuables from her home there.

Police say the victim had all that wealth -- including cash, jewelry and other items -- stashed away in a safe in an upstairs walk-in closet in the home located on the 200 block of S. Highland Avenue. So rather than try and crack it on the premises, the crooks just took the whole 500-pound safe, sliding it down the stairs on an area rug and hauling it away.

That was probably the hardest part of the heist. Investigators say the home was accessed by hopping the gate and smashing a glass side door. In a statement released Monday, police said the home’s security alarm sounded at about 8:20 p.m. during the March 16 burglary -- but the crooks were long gone by the time officers arrived.

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