Reward offered for thief targeting Pinoy stores

By Steve Angeles, ABS CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Jul 04 2013 03:04 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2013 11:05 PM

LOS ANGELES- Police are on the hunt for a man who has been robbing 15 locations including remittance centers and at least one grocery at gunpoint since December.

While police can't confirm if he's Filipino, people familiar with the case claims he speaks Tagalog during his heists. The suspect is described as a 5-foot 9, Asian, in his mid to late 20s, weighing between 160 to 180 pounds and wearing a woman's wig.

The suspect is believed to be using a light colored BMW sports utility vehicle as a getaway vehicle.

"It's a big concern especially within the Filipino community. All the victims in this particular case are Filipino remittance centers. Thankfully, the mayor's office has approved a reward for $25,000 and we hope that with that money, someone out there knows who he is and can call us with the information and put this man behind bars," said LAPD detective Freddy Arroyo.

Most of the crimes have occurred in the Los Angeles area in neighborhoods with high Filipino populations and sometimes inside Filipino shopping centers. The city is now offering a US$25,000 reward for his capture.

He has also been spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego county.

Though armed with a gun, shots have not yet been fired, and one victim had been tasered.

"The suspect enters the business, he is armed with a handgun he has jumped the counters through barriers and will take the money and jewelry if there's jewelry there," explained Arroyo.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the LAPD at 213-486-6840.