Hollywood robberies said to be related to Trayvon Martin protests

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – At least eight people were behind bars this morning after they and dozens of others marauded through Hollywood, taking purses, phones, jewelry and other items from pedestrians in a crime spree that police said was related to protests over the Trayvon Martin case.

The robberies happened around 9:35 p.m. in the area of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, said Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section. The initial call indicated that 15 to 17 men and women were robbing people around Hollywood Boulevard and Gower Street, said Officer Christopher No, also of LAPD Media Relations.

“They kept moving from location to location,” No said.

There were no reports of weapons being seen during the robberies.

Officers arrested between eight and 12 people, both male and female and most of them juveniles, said Sgt. J. Barkley of the LAPD’s Hollywood Station. The suspects were still being processed early this morning so a final tally of arrests was not immediately available, he said.

One victim suffered a hand injury while being robbed of her cell phone, but she was not hospitalized, Barkley said.

Some of the robberies were witnessed by responding officers, he said.

Barkley said the robberies were related to protests in downtown and South Los Angeles over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of 17- year-old Trayvon Martin. He attributed the crimes to “people coming up to Hollywood to cause havoc.”

The robbers took a cash register from one business, LAPD incident commander Dennis Kato told the Los Angeles Times. As many as 40 people were involved in the robberies and at times they split into groups of 10 to 15, he said.

More than 110 officers were deployed from other stations in response to the robberies, Kato told The Times.

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