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Crew takes valuables from Fairfax district house, part of follow-home robbery trend in L.A.

A crew of at least half a dozen robbers took thousands of dollars in cash, jewelry and other items from a Fairfax district home early Saturday in the latest in a series of follow-home robberies that have occurred in Los Angeles this year, according to the L.A. Police Department.

The latest follow-home robbery occurred at 1:56 a.m. Saturday in the 700 block of North Gardner Street when someone reported that up to seven people stole “property and fled the location,” said Officer Rosario Cervantes, a spokeswoman for the LAPD.

Cervantes did not provide more details about the crime. KTLA-TV Channel 5 reported that the victims were confronted at gunpoint and that the suspects took about $4,000 in cash, a diamond gold chain, two diamond gold rings and a Gucci item. The station reported that one of the men was armed with a handgun.

It is the latest incident in which victims were robbed at their homes after they had been followed from places such as Melrose Avenue, the jewelry district in downtown Los Angeles, high-end restaurants and nightclubs in Hollywood and the Wilshire area, according to the LAPD. To date, police have identified 110 follow-home robberies involving six street gangs.

Not all of the crimes are related, and some involve multiple robbery crews, police said. The robbers target people based on the jewelry and clothes they’re wearing and the type of vehicle they’re driving.

Among those targeted in recent weeks was “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Dorit Kemsley, who was followed to her Encino home by two men. Video surveillance from Oct. 27 showed the masked robbers shattering a sliding glass door and entering the home, where they made off with as much as $1 million in valuables, police said.

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“As you all know I have been through a terrifying ordeal, one that no parent or other person should have to experience,” Kemsley posted on Instagram. “I thank God for keeping my children and myself from being physically harmed.”

A crew of masked robbers also tracked actor and former BET host Terrence Jenkins to his Sherman Oaks home this month and attempted to block him in with an SUV, but he was able to flee in his car as shots were being fired, according to police.

Investigators compared the series of follow-home robberies to the “knock-knock” burglaries that occurred several years ago in which similar robbery crews targeted affluent neighborhoods. Celebrities were also targets of those burglaries and included former Dodger Yasiel Puig, former Laker Nick Young and rap artist Nicki Minaj.

Last week, police released a community alert informing the public about the follow-home robberies. They asked anyone with information that could result in the identification and arrest of the robbers to come forward.

The latest follow-home robbery in the Fairfax district has rattled neighbors, some of them expressing shock that it happened on their street.

One man who spoke to KTLA but did not want to be identified because of fear for his family’s safety said his surveillance camera showed the victims hiding in his backyard after they had escaped from their assailants.

“It is scary,” the man said of the incident. “We just got this house three years ago and my wife says we got to move out away from here.”

Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.


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