Jun 30, 2016

President Barack Obama sent word that he will replace the commemorative coin that was stolen during a violent home burglary that injured Richmond’s beloved Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest U.S. park ranger, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Obama, who has met Soskin on multiple occasions — most recently when she introduced  him at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in December — heard about the crime from U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and sent word back that he would send Soskin another coin with the presidential seal, according to the Chronicle, citing the superintendent of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, where Soskin conducts tours.

Soskin, 94, was attacked and robbed in her second-floor apartment in the Hilltop area as she slept, according to police and news reports.

The thief entered her home through a sliding glass door and went into her room. She awakened to see him standing with a small flashlight. When she grabbed her cellphone to attempt to call police, a struggle ensued and she was dragged from her bed through a hallway and punched several times in the face.

Soskin managed to flee 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.

Meanwhile, the suspect ransacked her home for more loot. Along with the commemorative coin, he made off with other coins, an iPad, laptop and cellphone.

Soskin is currently recovering at home. She reportedly doesn’t want to be seen because of her bruises.

Of all her items, she said 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.


  1. I love the way you think and prepare; the iron!!!! Hope this finds you feeling well and safe. We, the people, are proud of you, Ranger Betty Reid Soskin!!!! Joan Beaufort-Stewart. p.s. Are we not blessed with our President?

    Joan Beaufort-Stewart | Jun 30th, 2016
  2. He needs to be branded for attacking an older person. What kind of little cowardly loser attacks people who can’t defend themselves?

    Sheryl Ballard | Jul 1st, 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.