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'Backpack Bandit' attacks elderly woman in Little Tokyo

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A mugger attacked an elderly woman using a walker Monday. Police say it could be the same man who targeted a nearly blind elderly woman in July.

Police are calling the suspect the "Backpack Bandit." They say the man wearing a backpack stole a necklace from an elderly woman in Little Tokyo on Monday, not far from a very similar incident that occurred last month.

Los Angeles Police say surveillance video shows a suspect running off moments after confronting a 79-year-old woman with a walker on a walking path in Little Tokyo Monday.

"What he actually did is come up behind the woman as she's walking slowly with her walker, and he undid the clasp of her necklace. It's about a $1,500 gold necklace, and he said to her, 'Baby, I'm taking your necklace,' and then he just ran past her. You can see on the video how he runs out," said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.

Police believe a July 24 theft of a necklace from an elderly woman was done by the same suspect.

On July 24, a surveillance camera caught a suspect approach a 68-year-old woman who is nearly blind. He grabbed her around the neck. She fought back but the man ran away with a $100 gold necklace with a jade pendant off her neck.

"Don't think that he's just striking that many days apart. He's probably committed crimes every single day and more than one in that time period," said Vernon.

In both instances, police say, the suspect is a Hispanic man, standing about 5 feet 4 to 5 inches tall, wearing a white T-shirt, a backwards cap and a backpack.

"We've dubbed him the 'Backpack Bandit in Little Tokyo' because the backpack stands out," said Vernon. "Hopefully he doesn't watch TV and won't be dropping his backpack soon."

If you have information related to the incident, contact the LAPD Central Division at (213) 972-1251.

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Tags:
robbery, little tokyo, los angeles news, elex michaelson
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