Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore announced today that the LAPD will create a task force to address a string of “follow-home robberies,” some of which have targeted celebrities.
The announcement comes in the hours after a man was shot and killed outside the Bossa Nova Restaurant, in the 7100 block of Sunset Boulevard, at 2:10 a.m. this morning. Moore said he believed the shooting was tied to the growing list of follow-home robberies, in which thieves follow home people who are wearing high-end jewelry or have expensive vehicles or other valuable belongings.
Moore said the 23-year-old victim who was shot and killed this morning was “coming to the aid of a female who was being attacked.”
The most high-profile of the recent follow-home robberies occurred at the residence of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Dorit Kemsley in late October. Kemsley said she was home, her children asleep upstairs when at least two men entered and threatened to kill her. The suspects eventually took high-end handbags, jewelry, and watches, according to police, and then left Kemsley alive, but shaken.
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Terrence Jenkins, who goes by Terrence J in his acting, hosting and reporting career for BET and MTV, also narrowly escaped an armed robbery in early November. Authorities said a group of armed suspects followed him to his home in Sherman Oaks, tried to rob him, and then shot at his car as he sped away.
The Robbery Homicide Follow-Home Robbery Task Force will have robbery homicide detectives and resources from the LAPD’s Gang Narcotics Division and Metropolitan Division.
Moore said the department has identified 133 instances believed to be follow-home robberies.
“They’ll work moving forward on identifying these individuals responsible and pursuing and bringing them before the criminal justice system,” Moore said.
“The impact this is having on the sense of community, of safety, is profound.”
Moore said that robberies in Los Angeles have decreased over a two- year period, but they’re more violent than in the past, with more suspects being armed with firearms and have “the potential for matters to escalate to something that we saw this morning,” Moore said.
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