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Two men arrested in street robbery

The pair may be responsible for four other similar crimes, police say.

October 12, 2010|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Two Glendale men arrested Saturday after they allegedly punched and robbed a 60-year-old woman may be linked to four other robberies in Glendale and Burbank, police said.

Rafik Manouk, a 58-year-old handyman, and Gevork Sarkisyan, a 38 year-old tailor, were arrested on suspicion of robbing the woman and were booked into the Glendale city jail, where they were being held in lieu of $200,000 bail each, according to Glendale Police Department reports.

Detectives believe they are responsible for three other similar street robberies in Glendale, police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The last street robbery occurred Oct. 4 in Glendale, and a similar theft was reported Sept. 30 in Burbank, according to police reports. In all robberies, the suspects were seen in a white Ford van.

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The 60-year-old woman was walking south on the 700 block of Granada Street when a white van stopped in the middle of the roadway, according to police reports.

One of the men exited the van, approached the woman and punched her in the chest, which made her fall to the ground, Lorenz said.

The man then ripped a gold necklace valued at $400 from around her neck, jumped into the van and fled, according to police reports.

The woman wasn't seriously injured during the robbery, but called police for help. A short time later, the van returned to the scene and drove slowly past the woman, its occupants making direct eye contact with her, according to police reports.

Moments later, police arrived and the woman gave them a description of the van and the suspects.

Police later spotted the van at South Brand Boulevard and West Cerritos Avenue, and arrested the two men after determining they matched the descriptions.

The woman identified Manouk and Sarkisyan as the men who robbed her, according to police reports.

"Obviously, they were on a violent crime spree," Lorenz said. "They were on a mission."

Police searched the van for evidence, but didn't find the necklace.

Lorenz said there may be more victims who are afraid to come forward for fear of retribution. He urged them to come forward.

Anyone with details about the attack is urged to call Glendale Crime Stoppers at (818) 507-7867. To remain anonymous, call the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers' tip line at (800) 222-TIPS.

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