LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — On Wednesday, Los Angeles Police Department officers were investigating a robbery that occurred in the Fairfax District involving two girls who were walking to school.
It was yet another in a string of six robberies over the span of a week that have affected teenagers who were on their way to and from school.
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Now, students at both Fairfax and Los Angeles High Schools are scared to head to class, as some of their classmates are being targeted by a group of suspects who rob them of their phones, jewelry and any other valuables they are carrying.
“It’s scary,” said one Fairfax High student.
Athena Simeram, an 11th grade student, echoed that sentiment, “It really stresses me out. I feel like we’re young women, and we might seem more approachable for that type of stuff. It really gets me and my family nervous.”
Up to Friday, many of the victims have reportedly been female.
“It’s very concerning,” said Sergeant Rudy Perez with the Los Angeles School Police Department. “There’s adults that are preying on our students to and from school.”
Disturbing surveillance video of Wednesday’s incident shows two teenage girls walk past the front doors of a business on Melrose Avenue, when they’re approached from behind by two adult females. They girls were then attacked and pulled to the ground by their hair, and according to a LAPD statement, “The suspects demanded that they hand over their cellphones, then held them by their hair until they unlocked the access codes to their phones.”
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Law enforcement is searching for two men and two women as suspects in the incident, who robbed the girls at around 7:20 am on Wednesday morning. The suspects who assaulted the girls were both female, while the two male suspects acted as lookouts in a vehicle while the robbery occurred.
Authorities believe that the same suspects may be involved in more than one of these incidents.
Now, students are doing their best to avoid becoming victims. One group of girls has banded together to walk to and from school in larger groups and according to one student, they’re all “trying to wear not-so-flashy clothes, so we won’t be attacked or targeted,”
As authorities seek more information on the robberies, so do the students, who feel like they’ve been left in the dark when it comes to hearing from their schools or the district. “We feel like we should be informed more about the situation,” said Rebecca Infante, a 12th grade student,” Maybe advised by the school, instead of being kept out of stuff that’s about our safety.”
According to a Fairfax High School spokesperson, they were never informed about Wednesday’s incident.
Police department officials offered parents some advice to pass on to students in order to help prevent further instances, including: discussing the route they’re taking, staying in lit areas with a lot of people and staying off of cellphones so that they can pay full attention to their surroundings.
Anyone with information on the robbery was asked to call Wilshire Community Police Station Robbery Detective Flores at (213) 922-8217.
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