LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Police sought public help today to find the suspects who targeted two jewelry stores in the Chinatown area, one of them a man who impersonated a police officer.
The crimes occurred on Tuesday at different businesses in the 800 block of North Broadway, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The first crime occurred about 11:30 a.m., when two suspects stole a gold chain from a business and fled.
“Officers were able to locate Gerald Roberts, a 19-year-old, from Los Angeles,” a police statement said. “Roberts was arrested and booked for grand theft, with a bail amount set for $20,000.”
The second suspect remained at large.
Then, at about 3:45 p.m., police say a man entered the same store and identified himself as an LAPD detective.
“He wanted to get a chain similar to the one that was stolen earlier that day,” police said. “The jewelry store owner did not feel comfortable and asked for a business card, which the suspect provided and then left the store. The jewelry store owner then called LAPD Central Area detectives to report the incident.”
The man was described as Hispanic, in his 20s, about 5-feet-8 inches tall, and weighing 180 pounds. He wore sunglasses, a blue Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap, a Dodgers shirt, blue jeans, and had a badge on his belt, along with a set of handcuffs.
Another crime -- an attempted robbery -- occurred at a different jewelry store in the same block of North Broadway about 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday.
Two men got out of an orange Ford Mustang with paper plates and approached the business on foot, while the driver waited in the vehicle, police said.
“The first suspect was carrying what appeared to be a black semiautomatic rifle,” police said. “The second suspect was carrying a hammer. The owners of the jewelry store saw the suspects approaching the door and locked the door.
“The first suspect attempted to enter the store and upon realizing the door was locked, turned around and both suspects ran back to the waiting Ford Mustang,” police said.
The Mustang sped away, crashed into a ride-share vehicle, and kept going.
The suspects who approached the store were described as black men in their 20s, about 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. No description was available of the getaway driver.
Anyone with information about any of the crimes was urged to call police at (213) 996-1868 or (877) LAPD-247; or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222- TIPS.