Dec 17, 2015
1 comment

The famous selfie suspect has finally turned herself into police.

Tasja Dowell, 18, of Richmond, allegedly snapped selfies with a phone after violently robbing an El Cerrito High School student on Nov. 5. The selfies automatically uploaded to the victim’s cloud storage, including the image above, which the victim swiftly forwarded to police.

Dowell became a social media hit after police released one of her selfies to the public, but she remained in hiding until Dec. 11, when she turned herself in at the Martinez Detention Facility, El Cerrito police announced Wednesday.

Dowell was booked for the cellular phone robbery and a probation violation warrant, police said. Her case will be presented to the district attorney’s office in the next several days.

The incident unfolded about 12:40 p.m. on Nov. 5, when the victim was talking on her cellphone while walking eastbound on Central Avenue near Clayton Street, police said. A vehicle, possibly a Honda or Toyota containing four males and one female, pulled up alongside the student. The female suspect, believed to be Dowell, exited the car and demanded the victim’s phone and backpack, police said. After the victim refused, the suspect punched her in the head, causing her to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.

Several days later, the student noticed the photo uploads in her online cloud storage. The student recognized Dowell as her attacker and sent the images to El Cerrito Police Department, which then forwarded them to the media in the hope of identifying her.

“Within several hours after the press release, the ECPD received numerous calls from the public providing us with Dowell’s identity and addresses she may be associated with,” police said.


  1. Stupid is what stupid does. She hid out for 5 weeks after knowing she was busted. I wonder what she did for 5 weeks? Obviously did not have a job or show up for work? Hopefully she can apologize to the victim and make restitution and accept what she did was wrong and change her life for the better and be a productive human instead of an opportunistic person on the prowl for another victim. That is a shameful crime that she did.

    Andrew | Dec 19th, 2015

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.