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Robberies

‘Discount Bitcoin Bandits’ Plead to Robbery of Would-Be Buyers

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LOS ANGELES — Two Hollywood residents known as the “Discount Bitcoin Bandits” have admitted to robbing people who sought to buy the cryptocurrency in 2017 and 2018, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Precious Lanay Fitzgerald, 29, pleaded no contest today to one count of second-degree robbery and admitted allegations that a handgun was used during the crime and she had a prior felony conviction.

Her co-defendant, Lawillie Joshua Hall, 23, pleaded no contest on April 2 to one felony count of second-degree robbery and admitted an allegation that he was in possession of a handgun.

Fitzgerald is expected to be sentenced to 10 years in state prison and ordered to pay $85,715 in restitution under the terms of a negotiated plea agreement. Her sentencing is scheduled on Nov. 22 in Department 121 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Hall is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison and ordered to pay $29,900 in restitution. His sentencing is on Dec. 17 in Department 121.

Deputy District Attorney John Weller of the Cyber Crime Division prosecuted case BA466388.

From October 2017 through February 2018, Fitzgerald stole money from five people by using online notices and communications advertising the sale of discount bitcoins, according to court testimony. She met the victims in person and forcefully took the cash they had brought to purchase the cryptocurrency.

Hall helped Fitzgerald in two of the robberies, according to testimony.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery-Homicide Division.

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Robberies

Gun Discharged in Beverly Hills Robbery, Suspect Arrested

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On Saturday, January 11, 2020, at approximately 5:35 p.m., Beverly Hills Police responded to a report of an armed robbery involving shots fired.

A male suspect approached a male adult victim on the sidewalk in the 300-block of N. Canon Dr.  The suspect displayed a firearm and demanded the victim’s property.  After taking the victim’s property (jewelry), the suspect ran from the location.  Sometime during his attempt to escape, the suspect fired at least one round from the firearm. 

WeHo Daily reader Jonny Umansky heard the shots fired and said stores were immediately on lockdown. He provided a photo showing police blocking the streets.

No one was struck by gunfire and no one was injured during the robbery.  

Officers responding to the location immediately located the suspect inside a retail store in the 200-block of N. Beverly.  The suspect ran from police out of the rear of the store.

Police secured the area and began an extensive search.  The suspect was located in the 200-block of north Beverly/Canon alley at approx. 8:30 p.m. and safely taken into custody.  

Police said the suspect’s name and arrest charges will be available after the booking process was completed.

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Robberies

Artist Offers Caricature Drawing of Suspect Who Stole $500 From Him

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Artist Offers Up Caricature Drawing of Suspect Who Stole $500 From Him

RIVERSIDE (TMZ) — Talk about a cartoonish crime straight out of ‘The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’ … cops are on the lookout for a thief who can only be described with a drawing, albeit a pretty good one.

This story’s hilarious, even though the man who got burned probably isn’t laughing. A street artist in Riverside claims he was jacked 2 weeks ago during the city’s Festival of Lights after drawing a would-be customer’s caricature … who then made off with his money bag.

Riverside police say the artist told them the suspect — who’s described as a 5-foot, 1-inch black man in his early 20s with black hair and a mustache — requested a caricature of himself, sat down for the entire session and then allegedly snatched $500 from the artist.

Sounds like the suspect made a clean getaway (for now, anyway) and the only thing cops have to go off is the portrait he left behind. Cops note … his features are exaggerated!

That said, they’re asking for the public’s help in IDing and nabbing this crook. Our suggestion — call in the Scooby-Doo crew, or any number of acclaimed animated do-gooders

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Robberies

Cops Seeking Robber Attracted to Money and Banks in LA and WeHo

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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are seeking the public’s help in providing any information that would lead to the identification and arrest of a serial bank robbery suspect.

Beginning November 22, 2019, a single male suspect has targeted banks for the purpose of robbery.  The suspect would enter the bank, approach the teller window, and threaten to shoot everyone in the bank unless provided cash.  The suspect would then flee the location on foot. Investigators have identified five bank robberies committed or attempted by this suspect in the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

LAPD says the most recent bank robbery occurred on Monday, December 16, 2019 in Hollywood. There were to reported “attempted” robberies in the area that day as well. WeHo Daily reported on an attempted robbery in West Hollywood on Monday, which have confirmed as being only an attempt. Another was reported on Sunset in Hollywood, and while the initial call was for an attempt, we cannot confirm that is what LAPD concluded after responding.

While the timing fits, we have not confirmed with authorities that these incidents are tied to the same suspect, or why he seems to have failed in at least one of these attempts.

LAPD described the suspect as a male Black with black hair and a beard.  He stands approximately 6 feet tall and weighs 170-200 pounds and is known to wear dark clothing and sunglasses.  

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Robbery Homicide Detectives Freddy Arroyo or Daniel Jaramillo at (213) 486-6840.  During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-247 (877-527-3247).

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip.  Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.                                               

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