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Police investigating after video of violent home invasion surfaces online

·2 min read
Map of home-invasion robbery
Map of home-invasion robbery

Authorities are investigating a violent home invasion in the Fairfax district after video surfaced on social media.

The robbery occurred in the 100 block of North Fuller Avenue around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 26, but an official report was not made until Friday, after police became aware of the video's circulation online, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The video, captured on a doorbell camera, shows two suspects, one armed with a handgun, approaching three victims standing at the front door of their home. Police said the victims had walked home from a restaurant. Both suspects in the video are wearing tactical vests with the word "Police" on the back.

"Put your hands up," one can be heard saying.

He then directs a victim to open the front door before punching him in the face.

The video ends there, but police said the suspects forced their way into the house, where there were additional people.

"The suspects continued to physically assault the victims as they gathered property," officials said.

One victim suffered significant facial injuries.

Three additional suspects arrived during the robbery. A large amount of money and jewelry were among the items taken from the home, police said.

Officials said they learned of the surveillance video Friday after it circulated online. They contacted the victims, who then made a report.

An Instagram user who was among the first to post the video online said he had received it from a friend but did not know its original source. As of Friday evening, his post had been viewed more than 340,000 times.

LAPD Officer Mike Lopez said he could not comment on why the victims did not file a police report immediately after the incident.

Tactical vests, like the ones worn by the suspects in the video, are typically provided to officers by police departments, he said, but copies or reproductions have been known to be purchased or created.

The incident follows a string of crimes that have drawn the attention of residents and officials in Los Angeles, including a spate of smash-and-grab robberies and the shooting death of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant early Wednesday in her Beverly Hills home.

Last week, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore announced that he was setting up a task force to deal with the alarming rise in follow-home robberies, saying the department had not seen violent holdups “like this in decades.”

Officials on Friday said it was too soon to say whether the suspects in the Fairfax incident had followed the victims home.

"But I'm sure with everything that's going on, they're going to take a real close look at this to find out who's responsible," Lopez said.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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