Former Democrat senator assaulted and robbed by two teens in broad daylight in California – where’s the media?

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OAKLAND, CA- According to authorities, on Monday, July 26th, former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was assaulted and robbed while taking a walk in her Oakland neighborhood.

KTVU reported that Boxer, who is 80-years-old, was taking a walk by herself and talking on her cell phone when the incident happened. She stated that she noticed the would-be attackers about 30 seconds prior to the assault and robbery. Boxer said:

“I was walking around this neighborhood that I love so much.”

She stated that while walking, she noticed a black sedan double-parked and then a young man got out of it. When describing the robbery, Boxer said:

“I tried to cross the street and get away he slammed me on the back and reached across me. He was behind and grabbed my cell phone out of my hand. I said how can you do this to a grandmother?”

She added:

“I want to call my grandkids. Why are you doing this? He could care less and got into the car and sped away.”

The 80-year-old grandmother said she was relieved she had not fallen when she was pushed down by the assailant. She said:

“My heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. I was glad I was on my feet.”

Boxer added that she felt lucky that she was not seriously hurt. After the incident happened, she walked to the Verizon store nearby and asked them for help. Verizon employee Joseph Heuken said that she recognized the retired senator as a customer who had bought a phone from him a few days earlier. He added:

“Scared, nervous. She just told me she was mugged and someone stole her phone.”

The phone that was stolen was the same phone she purchased from Verizon just a few days prior. Heuken said:

“I have to do what I have to do to help this lady.”

Law enforcement sources told KTVU that the getaway vehicle that the robber fled in matched the description of a car that had been used in several vehicle break-ins in the 30 minutes prior to the attack on the retired senator.

Additionally, the license plate on the suspect car belongs to a different vehicle. Boxer said in a statement:

“I’m really saddened by this experience because there is a grandma alone, on her phone, and two young people attacked. I’m not hurt physically at all. I’m just shook up.”

Boxer stated that the two assailants appeared to be younger than 18-years-old; one was the driver, one was the attacker. She added:

“Well, he pushed me very hard. It’s hard for me to describe what happened because it was so fast, but when I started to move away from him, he came behind me, pushed me hard, and then before I could fall it was like he grabbed my phone in front, so it’s just hard to put all together.”

Police believe the robbery targeting Boxer was a crime of opportunity since her iPhone was worth more than a thousand dollars. Community members were horrified by the brazen broad-daylight attack on the elderly woman. 

Neighbor Marsha Caldwell said:

“They’re so bold. I just can’t understand it. It’d be nice if we had foot patrol police down here walking the area.”

This attack on the former senator came just one month after the Oakland City Council voted to cut $18 million from the police department’s budget. The Oakland Police Department (OPD) is facing staffing issues, making it more difficult to have police patrolling all areas. 

Boxer said she’s talking about what happened to caution others, saying:

“Be very aware of your surroundings anywhere you are these days. It’s nerve-wracking, but all is well. I feel bad because I love this town.”

Oakland police are currently investigating the case.

In addition, Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $2,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to contact OPD’s Robbery Section at (510) 238-3326 or the Crime Stoppers TIP LINE at (510) 777-8572.

Boxer served for 24 years in the U.S. Senate and 10 years in Congress.

Her seat was filled by current Vice President Kamala Harris in 2017. 

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NYPD arrests serial police impersonator after months-long city wide robbery spree

July 1st, 2021

NEW YORK CITY, NY – A man who has been impersonating an NYPD officer for months to steal money and other items from residents and businesses has been arrested.

The NYPD said the first reported instance dated back to July 2020, when Anthony Gonzalez allegedly fought with an employee at Radio City Apartments in Midtown. Police say Gonzalez displayed a firearm and police shield before threatening to have the employee “investigated by law enforcement.”

In a two-week period in April, police said Gonzalez posed as an officer to remove a computer, 15 bottles of cologne, sneakers, and clothing from a 60-year-old man.

In May, he allegedly used the ploy to take nearly $4,000 from a 45-year-old man while posing as a detective.

Police investigating the robbery spree believe Gonzalez struck in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.

Police say in total, Gonzalez robbed five stores and garnered at least $4,362 plus multiple boxes of cigarettes.

NYPD has seen this type of robbery spree in the past.

In 2017, 36-year-old Arcelay Camilo posed as an NYPD officer during a robbery spree in Brooklyn.

Camilo identified himself as either a police officer or detective by displaying a police patch or logo on his shirt at five locations. He stole cash and cigarettes from four of the businesses, cops said. 

In April 2017, Camilo walked into the Gourmet Deli Grill in Bensonhurst and demanded money from the store clerk. He also told the clerk he was going to “check” the shop’s cigarettes.

When the clerk demanded identification, Camilo ran from the scene.

The day before, his ploy worked at the Paksey Associates Grocery in Bath Beach.

Wazed Khan, whose wife owns the grocery store, said Camilo came in asking to check the store’s cigarette stamps. He told Khan’s wife that there were complaints that the store was selling loose or fake cigarettes, he said.

Camilo then asked the woman how much money she had and took it from her, according to Khan.

Police say Camilo also stole $1,000 and nine cigarette packs from a deli and smoke shop at; $2,500 and an unknown number of cigarettes from a grocery; and $300, a wallet and cigarettes from a laundromat during the robbery spree.

During the laundromat robbery, Camilo reportedly ran into the business flashing a police patch and fled with $300, a wallet, and cigarettes.

Camilo, of Bensonhurst, was charged with robbery and criminal impersonation.

In a side story, Camilo went on to some fame in Riker’s Island.

In October 2017, Maurice Ashley, a 2003 U.S. Chess Federation grandmaster of the year, played a tournament against prisoners.

In the final round of the two-month-long tournament, six simultaneous boards were played between Ashley and six inmates.

Slowly, he eliminated five of the inmates while a crowd of prison guards and fellow inmates. But one inmate, Camilo, battled the chess champion.

Camilo used his king to take Mr. Ashley’s last pawn. That left Arcelay and Ashley with a king as their last piece. Technically a draw, Ashley declared Camilo the winner of the tournament.

Arcelay said following the victory:

“To be in a situation that I’m in right now in jail, it leaves me speechless (to do something good). Because I’ve made so many bad decisions to be here.”

The chess tournaments were started at Riker’s to give prisoners something to pass the time. The program was initiated after Corrections Officer Gregory Lamb began bringing a chess set to work to play against 16- and 17-year-old inmates.

Prison officials soon asked him to organize sessions with adult inmates twice a week. That evolved into the tournament organized by the corrections’ Adult Programs Unit that began two months ago with 800 inmates participating.

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Group of unarmed Texas National Guardsmen held at gunpoint by man posing as a police detective

March 29, 2021

 

IDALOU, TX – A National Guard caravan transporting coronavirus vaccines through northern Texas Monday morning was stopped and held at gunpoint by a man posing as a police detective. The unarmed guardsmen called police as the man conducted a search of their vans.

Arizona resident Larry Harris was arrested after he cut off the caravan around 7 a.m. and held them at gunpoint, according to Idalou police. He stands accused of following three National Guard vans from Love’s Travel Station on East Regis Street in Lubbock, about two miles east of Idalou.

According to police, Harris made several attempts to run the vans off the road before turning his vehicle into oncoming traffic on Highway 62/82 and stopping the vans.

Idalou Police Chief Eric Williams described the incident:

“He had followed them all the way down the highway, through Idalou, had pointed the gun at them, forced them off the road.”

Harris then pointed a gun at the guardsmen and identified himself as a police detective. 

He demanded to search the vehicles after ordering the eleven unarmed guardsmen out of their vans.

While he searched the vans, the guardsman called 911. Idalou police and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department responded and took Harris into custody.

Chief Williams said:

“He made a U-turn on the highway and parked his vehicle head-on in front of those vans, got out, announced that he was a detective, didn’t show a badge, didn’t show credentials.”

When police arrived, Harris was in possession of a Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol and a loaded magazine. He had an additional magazine inside his truck, according to police. Chief Williams said:

“He’s got a loaded pistol, he had an extra magazine on his person, another magazine, and some ammunition in his truck and we’re very thankful that he didn’t start shooting them.”

Harris told police he thought the people in the vans had kidnapped a woman and a child.

Harris was booked into the Lubbock County Jail. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful restraint of 11 National Guard Soldiers, unlawful carrying of a weapon, impersonating a Public Servant, and interference with Texas Military Forces.

No guardsmen were injured during the incident. Chief Williams said the situation could have ended badly:

“Mr. Harris appeared to be mentally disturbed. This was a very dangerous situation since the suspect was standing in the midst of the unarmed Guardsman with a loaded weapon when the Idalou Officers arrived on scene. We are grateful that the officers were able to take him into custody without any of the Guardsmen, the officers or the suspect getting hurt.”

The incident is under investigation by the Idalou Police Department and by federal authorities. 

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