Jun 30, 2016

Betty Reid Soskin, 94 (pictured in middle), the nation’s oldest National Park Service ranger who continues to give tours at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, was attacked and robbed in her second-floor apartment early Monday, according to police and news reports.

Among the items stolen during the violent robbery: A commemorative coin given to her by President Barack Obama for being the oldest park ranger. The thief also made off with an iPad, laptop and cellphone.

The man hit her several times in the face during the attack, leaving her with visible bruises.

She said he entered her home through a sliding glass door about 1:45 a.m., while she was asleep, and made his way into her room. She awakened to see him standing with a small flashlight. When she grabbed her cellphone, a struggle ensued and she was dragged from her bed through a hallway.

Soskin fled and locked herself in her bathroom, where she fetched her iron, preparing to defend herself.

“I plugged it in and set it to linen which is the hottest. I figured if he would come in I would brand him and that would mark him for the police,” Soskin told KTVU-Ch. 2.

Of all her items, she most wants the commemorative coin from the President returned.

The suspect is described as a white man in his early to mid-20s, 5-8 with a slim build.

Police ask the public to look out for the commemorative coins, as the thief may attempt to sell them.


  1. Charles Smith | Jun 30th, 2016
  2. Betty Reid Soskin is a national figure, and I hope that the criminal is captured.


    Annie Swift | Jul 1st, 2016
  3. Everybody loves Betty, I hope they catch this guy. Gotta love her quick thinking and setting the iron to “linen”!

    bill | Jul 2nd, 2016

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.