Richmond councilman robbed at gunpoint after candidates forum

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A Richmond councilman was robbed at gunpoint last week after leaving a candidates forum at the Port of Richmond.

During public forum at Tuesday’s Richmond City Council, Eduardo Martinez was identified as the robbery victim by Ben Therriault, president of the Richmond Police Officers Association. Martinez confirmed he was the victim.

A 32-year-old man arrested in connection with the robbery confessed to the crime during an interview with a police detective, Lt. Felix Tan said. On Monday, the suspect, who hasn’t been identified, was charged with robbery, stolen car and possession of stolen items, Tan said.

The robbery occurred about 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, following a candidates forum at Riggers Loft Wine Company for the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) Board of Education and Richmond City Council.

Richmond police officers responded to a call about an armed robbery and met with the councilman, who described the suspect, Tan said. But the robbery suspect wasn’t identified that night.

The suspect, it turns out, was arrested the next day, but not initially in connection with the robbery. A port employee called police after seeing the suspect with a white Toyota 4Runner “dumping trash” on city property. Police responded and arrested the suspect after learning the 4Runner had been stolen.

Meanwhile, a Richmond police detective investigating the councilman’s case obtained video surveillance footage from the area where the robbery occurred. He saw the white Toyota 4Runner. After further investigation, the detective was able to determine that the suspect had both stolen the 4Runner and also robbed the councilman, Tan said.

The detective went to interview the suspect, who was already in custody on the stolen vehicle charge. The suspect confessed, Tan said.

“Furthermore, the weapon used was also found inside the recovered 4Runner,” he added.

Tan said his department is pleased to “bring swift justice to our own City Councilman’s traumatic incident.”

“We also want to acknowledge the teamwork and collaboration with the employees of the Port of Richmond,” he said.

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