Boxer Thwarts Thieves In West Hollywood Daylight Robbery

In what seems like a scene out of a Hollywood movie, a daring daylight robbery attempt was thwarted last Tuesday by an amateur boxer’s quick thinking and physical prowess on the bustling streets of West Hollywood. Rocco DiStefano, 29, is the owner of a local gym who found himself in a life-threatening situation when three masked assailants, one armed with a gun, attempted to rob him of his Rolex watch.

The incident occurred in front of DiStefano’s gym, The Lab Athletic Club, located on the iconic Sunset Boulevard. Surveillance footage captured the moment when the criminals, driving a black Cadillac, abruptly stopped and charged toward DiStefano as he was walking his dog, a Maltipoo named Hercules. The attackers cornered DiStefano near an elevator, demanding he hand over his watch while threatening his life.

DiStefano’s account of the assault shows his resolve under pressure: “When I turned around, it was three masked men running up to me. The only thing I can think to take off, I’m looking at my Rolex. So I take off my Rolex and I clasp it in my hands and I tell them ‘You’re going to have to take it from me.'”

DiStefano tackled one attacker into the gunman, causing both to fall. He was then able to run from the three into a nearby spa. The robbers ran away in the opposite direction.

DiStefano’s ordeal sheds light on the increasing arrogance of criminals in broad daylight. He said he had made a conscious decision to choose Sunset Boulevard for his business because of the perception of safety the area provides to customers and business owners. Nevertheless, he fell victim to the ongoing surge of urban crime afflicting the Golden State. He said the ordeal left him with a renewed sense of vigilance in situational awareness, even in his upscale Hollywood neighborhood. “I don’t want to stop living my life because of these things, but I’ll definitely be more cognizant of where I wear jewelry,” he reflected.

In a case involving what appeared to be the same group of robbers, authorities reported a similar incident in the area just 15 minutes before the attack on DiStefano. The West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on the three attackers and their getaway driver.