California serial thief known as ‘Blue Cloth Bandit’ arrested in connection with 68 armed robberies


Los Angeles police announced on Wednesday the arrest of a serial thief known as the “Blue Cloth Bandit”.

Charles Chukwuma Onwuemelie, 26, is charged with a total of 68 armed robberies that have taken place throughout the Los Angeles area since October 2021, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Onwuemelie allegedly “used a blue cloth to cover the handgun used in the robberies that occurred at gas stations, 7-11s and Walmarts,” the LAPD said in a news release.

“The suspect is reportedly concealing himself by wearing various hats, a face mask and rubber gloves,” the LAPD said. “The same vehicle was used in multiple robberies, and the same suspect was linked to the robberies based on multiple factors.”

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Los Angeles police arrested the “Blue Cloth Bandit” on Wednesday.
(LAPD)

Onwuemelie’s last attempt came on September 23, when detectives hatched a plan to initiate surveillance and serve a search warrant.

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Surveillance footage released by the LAPD shows the suspect appearing to purchase items at a convenience store before revealing his suspected weapon covered in blue cloth. He can also be seen wearing blue gloves and a hat that hides his face in the video.

Police recovered a gun and other evidence from the scene of Onwuemelie’s alleged last robbery linking him to the crime.

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The suspect is charged with 16 counts of robbery that allegedly occurred within the city limits of Los Angeles, although officials expect the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to file additional charges for numerous other robberies that apparently occurred in the county.

Charles Chukwuma Onwuemelie, 26, is charged with 68 robberies in and around Los Angeles.

Charles Chukwuma Onwuemelie, 26, is charged with 68 robberies in and around Los Angeles.
(LAPD)

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the series of robberies to contact Detective Esther Myape at (213) 486-6840.


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