Suspect arrested in robbery of customers at Hollywood coffee shop, bank



A man was arrested on suspicion of robbing customers outside a Hollywood coffee shop and bank while simulating having a handgun wrapped in a towel, police said Friday.

The first robbery happened around 5:40 p.m. May 8, when a man approached two people who were sitting at a table outside of a coffee shop in the 6400 block of Sunset Boulevard.

The man simulated having a handgun covered with a towel and demanded money, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

He then took one of the victims’ cellphones from the table and fled the scene in a white colored Volvo SUV, LAPD said.

Just minutes later, the man approached another victim at a bank in the 6300 block of Sunset Boulevard.

He demanded money from her and again, simulated having a handgun.

“The victim feared she would be shot and went to the ATM to withdraw money,” LAPD said.

She withdrew cash from the ATM and handed it to the man, who then walked back to his vehicle and fled the area with victim’s money.

But before he left, a witness snapped a photo of his vehicle with her cellphone.

LAPD later identified 30-year-old Grachik Melkonyan as a suspect in both robberies.

Police on Thursday served a search warrant at Melkonyan’s home, where they found a replica firearm, according to police.

Melkonyan was arrested on suspicion of robbery and attempted robbery. His bail was set at $150,000.



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