LOS ANGELES – A group of masked suspects armed with hammers and crowbars intentionally crashed into another vehicle on a Los Angeles freeway Tuesday then robbed a man in a broad daylight heist that was caught-on-camera. Using a pun that is spot on, yet lacking comedic value, it was literally a case of “highway robbery.”
The alarming video footage captured by another driver passing by shows a black Alfa Romeo that was chased by a Dodge Grand Caravan eastbound on I-10, known locally as the Santa Monica Freeway, at about 1:30 p.m., west of Arlington Avenue. A Ford Mustang was also struck, KTLA reported.
A nearby motorist sees the action in a lane to his right and can be heard in the footage saying “Let me catch up.”
The witness tries to speed toward the cars, but they quickly advance. “They is gone,” the man says. “My sh— ain’t catching up. They swinging. They swinging.”
That’s when the Dodge minivan smashes into the Alfa Romeo and forces it to the shoulder of the freeway. “There he goes! There he goes! There he goes!” the witness recording the crime says as he approaches the crash.
Four suspects wearing hoodies and ski masks bolted out of the minivan and rushed toward the Alfa Romeo, whose driver-side door is open revealing a deployed airbag, Fox News Digital reported.
The victim quickly complies with demands as he’s seen on his knees with his hands up in the air facing the passing motorists.
The violent thieves hurriedly scan the victim’s car and pop open the trunk, which was damaged in the collision. The driver-side back window and tire are blown out as well on the Alfa Romeo.
Another man who was driving a red Ford Mustang also witnessed the crime and recorded it on his cellphone.
About 40 seconds after the vehicular assault/robbery, the four suspects hop into a white Chevrolet Malibu, with heavily tinted windows, and flee.
“That fool took the exit!” the driver recording the bizarre freeway ambush says, referring to the Malibu.
“To be honest, at first, I thought it was a hit-and-run gone bad,” a man who didn’t want to be identified on camera told KTLA.
Although witnesses who called 911 described the assailants as armed with guns, California Highway Patrol Officer Roberto Gomez told Fox News Digital their details were slightly off.
“Upon further investigation, we learned they were carrying hammers and crowbars,” Gomez added.
The CHP confirmed the Caravan intentionally crashed into the Alpha Romeo and forced it off the road, according to KTLA.
“[It was] definitely targeted,” one witness who recorded the video told the outlet.
“They knew exactly what he had in the car. They were coming for that.”
Another motorist/witness who pulled over to assist the victim, thinking it was only a car wreck, said he did not realize the robbery was taking place.
“I was more concerned for the victim, and I thought he got hurt in the accident,” Rogelio Velasco told NBC Los Angeles.
“I thought, my full intention was to try to see what was going on and to see if I could help them.”
Velasco said he watched as the robbery played out and tried to pursue the getaway vehicle but was unable to keep up.
Further details regarding the victim and/or the loss were not provided by the CHP.
“That’s part of the investigation,” Gomez said.
The CHP did not say if the vehicles used by the suspects had been previously stolen.
The robbery has law enforcement in Los Angeles on alert, with LAPD Chief Michel Moore posting video of the crime on social media.
“The CHP is aggressively investigating this violent attack and our investigators are assisting to help identify and bring to justice those responsible,” he said on social media.
The CHP is aggressively investigating this violent attack and our investigators are assisting to help identify and bring to justice those responsible. https://t.co/Qm19qm5VFv
— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) October 26, 2023
The case is being investigated by the CHP Southern Division Major Crimes Unit. Authorities urge anyone with information about the crime to call 323-644-9550.