Usually carjackers commit crimes of the moment by grabbing a car to get away from a just-committed felony or using a vehicle for a one-night joyride.

But cops today announced they're looking for perhaps L.A.'s first serial carjacker, a man they're calling the “opportunistic bandit.” And he's violent.

The LAPD says the bandit has hit areas from the Westside to the Valley this spring, including:

Glendale, Pasadena, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.

Cops are concerned about his level of violence. On April 15, for example, he chatted up a woman at a gas station in the 1700 block of N. Highland Avenue in Hollywood before hopping in her car, hitting her and forcing her out, they allege.

The suspect took off with her vehicle and her purse, according to an LAPD statement.

In another incident, cops say, the man beat a 76-year-old woman during a carjacking and purse-snatch.

He's also known to take purses on the street and enter random cars in order to steal belongings, police say. Here's the LAPD's list of some of his alleged crimes:

Thursday 4-26-12 1045 hrs Street Robbery 16600 Ventura Blvd.

Thursday 4-26-12 1015 hrs Car Jacking 5200 Lankershim Blvd.

Wednesday 4-25-12 1020 hrs Burglary 5100 Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Wednesday 4-25-12 0955 hrs Vandalism 12200 Ventura Blvd.

Monday 4-23-12 0925 hrs Burglary from motor vehicle 3000 Westwood Blvd.

Monday 4-23-12 0915 hrs Street Robbery 2900 Sepulveda Blvd.

Monday 4-23-12 0730 hrs Theft 5200 Century Blvd.

Monday 4-23-12 0445 hrs Vandalism 3200 Cahuenga Blvd.

Friday 4-20-12 2050 hrs Theft from motor vehicle 2400 Lincoln Blvd.

Friday 4-20-12 1330 hrs Car Jacking 7800 Sunset Blvd.

Sunday 4-15-12 2050 hrs Car Jacking 1700 Highland Ave.

Saturday 4-14-12 2330 hrs Street Robbery 14000 Ventura Blvd.

The suspect is described as 5 feet, 9 inches to 6 feet, 4 inches tall, 180 to 250 pounds with a shaved or bald head. If you think you know who this is detectives would love to hear from you: 213-486-6840.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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