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Woman Killed, Husband Injured During Gang’s Robbery Spree by Bike

December 29, 1990

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ More than a dozen bicycle-riding gang members fatally stabbed a woman and injured her husband during a robbery spree, authorities said Friday.

Ten people were robbed in as many minutes in the Thursday evening rampage in the Watts section, said homicide Detective Larry Kallestad.

Police described the 15 young men taken into custody as gang members.

Tomasa Rivas, 44, died from a stab wound to the chest when she and her husband were attacked while walking home with bags of groceries.

Ms. Rivas was attacked when she ran toward her 52-year-old husband, Jesus Rivas, who had just been stabbed, Kallestad said. Rivas was in stable condition Friday after surgery at Martin Luther King Jr.-Drew Medical Center.

The Rivases were the only stabbing victims, Kallestad said. Two victims received minor injuries struggling with their assailants but did not require hospitalization, he said.

Eight of the young men arrested were released Friday after witnesses failed to identify them in a lineup, authorities said. Detective E. Nathan said seven others, four juveniles and three adults, were booked for investigation of murder and robbery.

The names of those taken into custody were withheld, she said. Arraignments were expected Monday.

″We’ve released eight of the suspects but that doesn’t mean that they’re home free,″ Kallestad said. ″We’re not sure we’ve got all of them.″

Kallestad said a police helicopter followed a group of bicyclists fleeing from the area of the last robbery. ″They all ran into one house and were taken into custody there.″

He said stolen purses and other evidence was recovered at the house.

Update hourly