A 30-year-old man suspected of committing two robberies on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood about 10 minutes apart was arrested Thursday.
Grachik Melkonyan approached two victims seated at a table outside of a coffee shop in the 6400 block of Sunset Boulevard, near Cahuenga Boulevard, on May 8, simulated a handgun covered with a towel, demanded money from the victims and stole a cellphone that was on the table before fleeing in a white Volvo SUV, police said.
Approximately 10 minutes later, Melkonyan approached another victim at a bank in the 6300 block of Sunset Boulevard and repeated the same tactic that he used with the previous victims with the towel. The victim was afraid of being shot so she withdrew cash from the automated teller machine and gave the money to Melkonyan, who then walked back to his vehicle, police said.
Detectives were able to identify Melkonyan as the suspect in both crimes with the help of a witness who took a cellphone photograph of his SUV as he as fled the scene, police said.
A search warrant was obtained for his residence, where police recovered a replica firearm. Melkonyan was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department Hollywood Division robbery detectives and members of the Operations-West Bureau LAPD/ATF Gun Violence Reduction Task Force without incident, police said
Melkonyan was booked at the Hollywood Jail on two counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery, according to police. His bail was set at $150,000.
Anyone with information related to this crime or Melkonyan was asked to call Hollywood Division Detective Eberhard at 213-972-2955.
Source: NBC Los Angeles