LA police task force to target follow-home robbers

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore on Tuesday said that he would set up a "Follow Home Task Force" to address a recent trend of robberies. 

Moore said that he would create the task force of more than 20 detectives from elite divisions like robbery-homicide and other units in the department, the Los Angeles Police Department announced in a statement.

The task force will attempt to address instances when "suspects target victims in Los Angeles, follow them and commit the robberies as the victims go into isolated areas such as a parking lot or as they arrive home."

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The trend has targeted high-end restaurants and celebrities in the past few months and escalated on Tuesday when a man was fatally shot in an attempted robbery outside Bossa Nova, a Hollywood restaurant, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The department is already investigating more than 130 robberies, including the fatal shooting earlier this week. In that incident, a man and woman were sitting in a car, and when the woman stepped out, eight people tried to rob her. The 23-year-old man "was coming to the aid of a female who was being attacked" when he was shot not long after 2 a.m., the Times reported.

The Times added that robberies are up more than 3 percent in 2021 compared to last year, but down from figures in 2019. However, recent trends indicate that more suspects have been using firearms in such incidents.

“They are willing to use deadly force for items of value,” Moore said to Los Angeles police commissioners, per the Times.

Earlier this week, thieves targeted a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles, stealing an unknown amount of merchandise and resulting in multiple arrests. Not long before that incident, people also broke into a Louis Vuitton and a Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. Elsewhere in California, other high-end stores, especially in the Bay Area, have also been the targets of recent robberies. 

The Hill has reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department for comment.