Cafe Robbery Shocks Fairfax
September 16, 2021
Staff and Wire Services
9/9/21: Crime has been an ongoing issue in the Fairfax area during the pandemic. LA was shocked by a videotaped armed robbery of three diners sitting outside a cafe on Melrose near Fairfax.
One man has been arrested in an armed robbery. He is also suspected in a series of other crimes, the LAPD said.
The incident took place just before 5 p.m. at the La Creme Cafe at 7376 Melrose Avenue. It was filmed by surveillance video, which is unusually clear.
Two men wearing masks and hoodies, brandished a gun at three people sitting at a table, police said. They took belongings from two women and a man before fleeing the scene, the video shows.
One of the victims dropped her phone during the incident, and the video shows one of the robbers picking it up and putting it her a purse to conveniently carry it off.
One man held out his arms while his watch was stolen, and another victim had her hands over her mouth during the robbery.
In the video, the 3 are visibly shaken. But injuries were reported.
“We are disturbed by this brazen daytime robbery which was captured on video,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said in a news release.
On Thursday, LAPD officials identified 23-year-old Quioness Wilson as a suspect in the shocking robbery. Moore alleges he is responsible for several other robberies in the Fairfax District, downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood.
Wilson was identified and arrested Wednesday after he was seen in Pasadena driving a vehicle used in a series of robberies being investigated by LAPD’s elite Robbery Homicide division. Police found additional evidence associated to the robberies after a search of Wilson’s home, officials said in a news release.
The other man seen in the video of Tuesday’s incident remains outstanding.
Series of Robberies in LA
Authorities now are asking for the public’s help identifying two other people tied to Tuesday’s incident as well as the following robberies:
• An attempt robbery at 1 p.m. Sept. 1 at 11th Street east of Santee Street.
• A robbery at 2:50 p.m. Sept. 1 at 504 W. Olympic Blvd.
• A robbery at 4:32 p.m. Sept. 1 at Gardner Street and Melrose Avenue.
• A robbery at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at 7726 Melrose Ave.
• A robbery at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday at 939 S. Hill Street.
• A robbery at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday at 1716 Whitley Ave.
The other two people sought in the above incidents were only described as Black males.
The owner of the cafe in Tuesday’s incident told KTLA that in his nine years running a business along Melrose Avenue, he has never as much crime.
“A lot of visitors and tourists stop coming here,” the owner said. “When they stop coming here, more and more merchants and business owners are going to move their businesses, they’re going to go somewhere safer and this street’s going to die.”
In August 2021, a Shoe Palace employee named Jayren Bradford was fatally shot during a shoe raffle in the Fairfax District.
Police arrested a 16-year-old one day later on suspicion of murder in the killing of Bradford.
And in July, a would-be victim shot two men during a robbery attempt near Melrose Avenue and Vista Street.
The two men who confronted the would-be victim were shot, but their injuries were not life-threatening, police said. They were eventually apprehended by responding officers.
Anyone with additional information about Tuesday’s incident, or any of the other robberies listed above, is urged to call the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide division, robbery special section at 213-486-6840.