Police on Friday continued searching for an increasingly violent suspect who robbed four women on four consecutive days in downtown Long Beach’s upscale arts district and stabbed two of them multiple times in broad daylight.
“We’re working very hard to apprehend this suspect,” said Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nicole Avalos. “In the first two robberies, no one was harmed. But in the last two, the victims were cut with a sharp object.”
The injuries were not life-threatening but did require surgery, said Avalos, who described the suspect as an African American man about 25 to 40 years old and of medium build.
The robberies started April 25, authorities said.
In the meantime, business owners were taking steps to protect themselves.
Windows were cleared of posters and advertisements that could obstruct views of an intruder. Telephones were kept within reach. No one worked alone, and in some cases, doors were locked during business hours.
Jewelry store owner Josephine Mbuque, 24, on Thursday handed out walkie-talkies to neighboring shop owners. Holding one of the palm-sized devices in her hand, she said, “These little guys have panic buttons on them. Push it, and everyone immediately knows you need help.”