A pair of brazen armed robberies has left West Hollywood on edge, causing a surge of fear and anxiety among its residents. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating two similar incidents, one of which occurred Thursday outside the famed celebrity hangout Craig’s, following a similar crime only a few weeks ago on Larrabee Street.
In the most recent incident, two masked individuals clad in dark attire, targeted two unsuspecting victims outside Craig’s restaurant, known as a hotspot for Hollywood A-listers. The robbers made away with a watch before escaping in a white vehicle driven by an accomplice. This event left witnesses, including reality star Hayley De Sola Pinto, deeply shaken and questioning their safety in the city.
This robbery echoes a similar incident that took place July 19 on Larrabee Street. In this case, three individuals, two armed with handguns and one with a rifle, accosted a man on the sidewalk. The assailants forcefully pushed the man against a fence, robbed him of his cell phone and wallet, and then fled on foot. The Sheriff’s Department has released security footage of the incident and has appealed to the public for assistance in identifying the culprits.
The pair of robberies follow two other notable crimes from earlier in the year. In March, a woman was sexually assaulted at a bus stop on Santa Monica Boulevard, and in April, two men were robbed by suspects carrying an assault rifle behind La Boheme restaurant. The latter incident led to the temporary closure of the restaurant as the owner sought to address safety concerns with city officials.
These incidents are part of a growing trend of violent crime in West Hollywood. Residents like Alan Strasburg have expressed their concern about the increasing frequency and severity of these crimes. Strasburg, who has lived in the area for years, has stopped his routine after-dinner walks due to safety concerns.
The crime rate in West Hollywood exceeds the state average, with 5.67 violent incidents per 100 residents and 783 crimes per square mile. This is a stark contrast to the national median of 26.2 crimes per square mile. The probability of becoming a victim in West Hollywood is 1 in 176, compared to 1 in 227 for California as a whole.
The Sheriff’s Department suspects a connection between the recent robberies and is urging anyone with information to come forward. As the investigations continue, the residents of West Hollywood are left grappling with the unsettling reality of escalating crime in their community.