Arrests Made in Conjunction With Residential Robberies

By: 
LBPD Media Relations
Person of Interest
UPDATE (2/11/2017): The female accomplice that was arrested with suspect Farmer has been identifed as Sophia Yim, 31 years old, who is a resident of Lynwood. Yim's updated charges are robbery with a bail of $100,000.  
 
 
Feb. 10 News Release
 
Long Beach Police announced at a news conference Friday, Feb. 10,  that arrests were made in a residential robbery series, which also involved a sexual assault and an attempt sexual assault. Earlier this week, police released an image and surveillance video depicting a person of interest, and asked for the public’s help.

 
“Through the media coverage of the photo and video, someone saw that and believed they recognized the man and called police – and that’s one of the reasons we’re here today,” said Police Chief Robert Luna, “I’m proud of the relentless work of our detectives, patrol officers and lab techs; the real heroes are the victims – their strength and courageous actions are admirable.” 

On Feb. 10, at 9:45 a.m., detectives detained and transported a person of interest to police headquarters, from the area of Century Boulevard and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. The person of interest matched the description of the individual portrayed in a related news release.

After a thorough interview, 39-year-old Melvin Earl Farmer Jr. of Lynwood was booked for multiple charges in connection with the series. The charges included: residential robbery, rape by force or fear, oral copulation by force or injury, a death threat, and assault with a deadly weapon (not a firearm) with great bodily injury. Farmer is currently being held in Long Beach City Jail with bail set at $2,000,000. His lengthy criminal history includes robbery and theft.

A 31-year-old female resident of Lynwood was booked as an accomplice and was with Farmer when he was detained. Her identity is being withheld due to investigative reasons. She is currently being held in Long Beach City Jail with bail set at $20,000.

A motive for the suspect’s actions has yet to be determined and the investigation remains active and ongoing. 

Detectives expect to present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration, early next week.

Anyone who may have information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call Long Beach Police Department Sex Crimes Detective J. Kearns at (562) 570-7368 or email LBPDSexCrimes@longbeach.gov. Anonymous tips may be submitted through "LA Crime Stoppers" by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the "P3 Tips" app to your smart phone (available at the Apple App store and Google Play), or visiting www.LACrimeStoppers.org

The Long Beach Police Department extends its appreciation to the community and media for their continued support and assistance with this investigation. 

 

Earlier News Release

UPDATE (2/9/2017): On Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7:24 a.m., officers were dispatched to a panic alarm at a residence in the 3700 block of Pacific Avenue. Arriving officers determined a residential robbery and an attempt sexual assault occurred. The preliminary investigation indicates a male African-American suspect rang the victim’s doorbell, forced his way into the residence, committed an attempt sexual assault, and the fled with the victim’s property. Although the victim was able to fight off her attacker, she did sustain injuries. Long Beach Fire Department personnel transported the 90-year-old female victim, with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, to a local hospital. 

Upon further investigation, detectives believe this incident is tied to the robbery series in/around a senior housing complex near Atlantic Avenue and Via Carmelitos.

Detectives obtained video from surveillance cameras in the senior housing complex; one video clip shows the person of interest outdoors and another video clip appears to show the same person of interest in a stairwell. The video clips are being released in hopes that someone will recognize this individual and come forward.

Any additional victims who have yet to come forward are also encouraged to do so.

Patrol officers have distributed a Public Information Bulletin to raise awareness citywide. The bulletin describes the robbery series and offers crime prevention tips. Residents are encouraged that if they see something, to say something and report suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1. 

The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone who may have information regarding this case is encouraged to call Long Beach Police Department Sex Crimes Detective J. Kearns at (562) 570-7368 or email LBPDSexCrimes@longbeach.gov. Anyone knowing the immediate whereabouts of the suspect should call 9-1-1.  

Original News Release:

The Long Beach Police Department would like to alert the community to incidents involving a male suspect responsible for multiple residential robberies and a subsequent sexual assault. Detectives are releasing a photo and asking for the public’s help in identifying this person of interest to further the investigation.

The four incidents occurred between Feb. 2 and Feb. 5 at various times between 5:45 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. All of the incidents occurred in a senior housing complex near Atlantic Avenue and Via Carmelitos. All of the victims were elderly females between the ages of 63 years to 95 years. 

In most cases, a male adult suspect knocked on the door, forced his way inside and physically assaulted the victims. Stolen property included purses, cell phones and cash. In one case, the victim was walking near the residential complex when the robbery occurred. 

The most recent incident escalated to a sexual assault. The suspect rang the victim’s doorbell, forced his way into the residence, sexually assaulted the victim and fled with cash. Long Beach Fire Department personnel transported the victim, with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, to a local hospital.

Following the incidents, patrol officers searched for the suspect in the area. Law enforcement agencies in the region have been alerted and the investigation remains ongoing. 

Detectives obtained video from surveillance cameras in the area and are releasing a photo of a person of interest, hoping that someone will recognize him and come forward. The person of interest is described as follows: 

Gender:                         Male
Race:                             African-American
Age:                               25 to 30 years
Height:                          5’5” to 5’11”
Physical Description:  Thin to medium build

Detectives are attempting to identify this person of interest and the suspect. Any additional victims who have yet to come forward are also encouraged to do so.

Anyone who may have information regarding this case is encouraged to call Long Beach Police Department Sex Crimes Detective J. Kearns at (562) 570-7368 or email LBPDSexCrimes@longbeach.gov. Anyone knowing the immediate whereabouts of the suspect should call 9-1-1. Anonymous tips may be submitted through "LA Crime Stoppers" by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the "P3 Tips" app to your smart phone (available at the Apple App store and Google Play), or visiting www.LACrimeStoppers.orgLACrimeStoppers.org. 

 

 

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Beachcomber

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