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Police Arrest 2 in ‘Follow-Home’ Jewelry Robberies

Times Staff Writer

A man suspected of following home eight Studio City women and then beating them and snatching their jewelry has been arrested, Los Angeles police said.

Claude Davis, 38, and his sister-in-law, Karen Davis, 30, were arrested Tuesday by a special investigative team near a shopping plaza at Ventura and Laurel Canyon boulevards, police said.

Police said they had staked out that shopping center and another at Ventura and Coldwater Canyon Avenue for about a month in an effort to arrest the man they dubbed the “follow-home jewelry bandit.”

The Davises, both of Van Nuys, were arrested on suspicion of robbery. Claude Davis, a felony parolee, was being held without bail Wednesday in the North Hollywood Jail. Karen Davis, who police suspected of being his accomplice, was being held in lieu of $16,000 bail in the Van Nuys Jail. Her husband is in state prison, Lt. Ron Larue said.

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Police think Claude Davis followed home eight women between May and December. He tailed the women in a car from shopping plazas along Ventura Boulevard and confronted them outside their homes, Larue said.

“He would distract them by starting a conversation and then physically assault them” with his fists and feet, “normally knocking them to the ground,” Larue said. He would then take their rings and other jewelry, Larue said. No cash, wallets or other items were taken, police said.

The robber often made off with diamond rings estimated to be worth $10,000 to $30,000. His victims were in their 50s to their 70s, Larue said.

“This is an affluent area,” Larue said of Studio City. “The choice of victims was particularly good.”

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After some assaults, witnesses saw a woman in the getaway car, Larue said. The incidents occurred in the mid-afternoon on weekdays and became progressively more violent, Larue said.

The victims suffered bruises, cuts or broken bones, Larue said. “We are lucky nobody actually got killed,” he said.

Police are investigating whether the suspects may have been involved in a robbery Dec. 20 in West Los Angeles, Larue said.


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