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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Two Korean seniors attacked and robbed by gunman at restaurant parking lot

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Another armed robbery in LA Koreatown has left two Korean American senior women injured, raising safety concerns ahead of the year-end holiday season.

According to a report received by the Korea Daily, two Korean American women were robbed and injured in the parking lot of a restaurant on Olympic Boulevard around 9 p.m. on October 24. One victim, Kim, 70, said she was attacked in the restaurant’s parking lot after having dinner with her friend.

From behind the women’s Mercedes-Benz SUV, a tall black attacker, over 6 feet tall, suddenly appeared, pointed a gun at her forehead, choked her, and threatened to “kill” her.

As the woman screamed in terror, the assailant approached her, who was standing frozen next to him, and threw a series of punches, hitting her in the head and causing her to fall to the ground.

“When I got up, he punched me again, and I fell to the ground, and I was hit four times,” she said. “My forehead was bleeding, and I thought I would die if I stayed like this, so I desperately ran away while he was looking at my belongings.”

Shortly afterward, Kim’s companion struggled with the robber and got away after relinquishing the bag she was carrying, Kim said. She reportedly suffered minor injuries in the process.

“I went to the hospital and got stitches on my torn forehead. Fortunately, I didn’t get a concussion, but I still have a headache to this day,” Kim said.

“There was no security at the scene and no lights, so it was very dark. I was screaming, ‘Help me,’ but the people around me were just looking on.” “I’ve lived and operated a business in the town for 40 years, and this is the worst experience I’ve ever had. I can’t live here anymore, so I’m moving.”

Previously, the restaurant had experienced several burglaries that targeted cars in the parking lot.

Similar robberies are not uncommon in LA’s Koreatown.

In March, a man and woman were robbed of their cell phones and debit cards by armed robbers in the parking lot of an El Salvadoran restaurant on the town’s Beverly Boulevard.

According to LAPD statistics, as of October 24, there were 348 robberies in the Olympic Community Police Station’s jurisdiction, which covers Koreatown. That’s more than one robbery a day.

In particular, the Olympic Police was the seventh most robbed station out of 21 LAPD stations.

In terms of location, “parking lots” were one of the most frequent locations for robberies in the Olympic Police Station’s jurisdiction.

Sidewalks and streets were the most frequent locations, with 80 and 78 robberies, respectively, followed by minimarts with 25 and parking lots with 22.

Moreover, one out of every four robberies this year involved a firearm, raising serious community safety concerns.

According to the same statistics, firearms were used in 95 (27%) of the 348 robberies, including handguns (73), model firearms (9), and semi-automatic pistols (7).

BY SUAH JANG, JUNHAN PARK    [jang.suah@koreadaily.com]