Aug 4, 2016
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In a follow up interview with Betty Reid Soskin, the 94-year-old National Park Service ranger who fended off a violent burglar in her Richmond apartment in June, KTVU (Ch. 2) has learned some interesting new details, including some of the sentiments President Barack Obama wrote in a personal letter to her following the violent burglary.

KTVU reports first that the Richmond Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward to find the man who punched Soskin several times during the invasion and stole a number of her belongings, including a commemorative coin that was personally given to her by President Obama last December.

Police are asking folks to be on the lookout for the coin pictured above.

Since the attack, the Bay Area community has showered the beloved Soskin with love and attention. During a surprise ceremony in Concord on July 17, Soskin received a replacement commemorative presidential coin to replace the one that was stolen. Along with the coin, she received a personal letter from the President that “says I was deeply saddened to hear everything you’ve been through recently and wanted to extend my warmest regards and send you a new challenge coin,” Soskin said.

In addition, Bay Alarm: Home Security Systems equipped Soskin’s apartment with a brand new alarm system, KTVU reported.

Donations streamed in to support her recovery, which was brief, as Soskin had returned to work as tour guide for the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center just two weeks following the attack. The Richmond Standard chipped in by donating $1,000 toward the recovery fund, which Soskin pledged to use to complete a historical film documenting her life.

Soskin told KTVU she doesn’t sleep with the lights on anymore, saying “my space was invaded but not stolen from me.”

“I’ve been able to remain in my apartment, in my community,” she told the news outlet.


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.