by Anneli Rufus
If you're a robber, your goal is to get as much as possible as easily as possible with the highest possible likelihood of getting away with it. So who, generally speaking, is your ideal victim?
It isn't fair, and the rest of us wouldn't punch seniors, take their stuff, and leave them bleeding. But the rest of us aren't robbers. On January 10 at around 4:30 p.m., two Oakland police officers were patrolling the 300 block of West Macarthur Boulevard when, according to an OPD report, "they observed a suspect attempting to take a woman's purse." This woman, as it happened, was 83 years old. The suspect knocked her to the ground, the report reads, then "fled on foot through Mosswood Park." The officers "chased and apprehended him in the 3700 block of Webster Street." The suspect was a sixteen-year-old Oaklander who "had previously been arrested [for] a series of robberies which occurred in November of 2006 in Oakland." After his attack on the octogenarian, "investigators admonished the suspect. The suspect gave a statement and confessed his involvement in this incident," the report concludes.
This follows two disturbing Berkeley incidents. Around 4:30 p.m. on December 28, police came to the aid of an 80-year-old man in Live Oak Park whose face, according to the report, was bloodied by a robber who had stolen his wallet and groceries and punched him, causing the man to fall to the ground. Around half an hour later near Berkeley Bowl, a robber attacked a couple in their late seventies who had just left the store. The assailant struck the man on the back of the head, pushed him to the ground, stole his wallet and groceries, and fled on a bicycle, according to the report.