Police Arrest Suspects Related to Residential Robberies/Sexual Assault (VIDEO)

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Long Beach Police announced at a news conference Friday, February 10, 2017, 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 February 10, 2017, about 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.

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.

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.



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