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Oakland man arrested on suspicion of a series of robberies in Los Angeles

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Eric Watts, 31, is linked to the series of robberies with the help of DNA evidence and surveillance video; the suspect was arrested in Oakland and would be related to almost half a dozen robberies in the area

An Oakland man has been arrested in connection with a series of robberies that have occurred in the Melrose district of Los Angeles, authorities said.

Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have linked 31-year-old Eric Watts to a series of robberies with the help of DNA evidence and surveillance video.

A video shows a brazen armed robbery that happened on May 24 at a restaurant in the 8300 block of West 3rd Street in Los Angeles.

Detectives said Watts and another suspect armed with guns cornered a victim, took her jewelry and car keys before fleeing.

Investigators released video showing Watts allegedly coordinating with another suspect who entered a jewelry store on Melrose Avenue armed with a gun on July 5 and approached two victims.

Detectives took Watts into custody in Oakland and linked him to nearly a half-dozen burglaries in the Los Angeles area.

LAPD Lt. Kirk Kelley said more arrests have been made for similar crimes.

One such robbery resulted in an officer-involved shooting in the Melrose corridor.

Kelley mentioned that the district attorney’s office filed charges against Watts last week.

Detectives believe the suspect is involved in other similar robberies that have occurred in Southern and Northern California and have gone unreported. Many of the crimes occurred last year.

The Melrose and Wilshire areas have seen an increase in the number of property crimes, particularly with cases known as “follow home” burglaries.

In these heists, victims are typically dining at restaurants or shopping at luxury stores when they are spotted by suspects and followed to steal jewelry, merchandise and cash.


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