OAKLAND (CBS SF) – City Council candidate Daniel Kalb, who was robbed at gunpoint near his home Wednesday night, was concerned for his safety while he and the suspect tried in vain to find Kalb’s dropped iPhone.
Kalb, 53, who is running to represent Oakland’s District 1 and has called for expanding Oakland’s police force, was robbed at about 8:35 p.m. in the 5100 block of Manila Avenue, police said.
“There was a point where I thought he was going to shoot me, when were looking for the phone,” Kalb said, describing the moments when the armed man demanded he turn over the phone, which may have fallen into a tote bag Kalb used to carry campaign literature.
“I took off my jacket and the (phone) holster to show that I didn’t have it,” Kalb said.
Kalb, who had just driven home from a meeting with residents of the Golden Gate neighborhood in Oakland, exited his car and was having a phone conversation with his ear buds on when the suspect poked him from behind.
“He stood back and pointed the gun and said ‘Gimme your wallet,’ but I had my ear buds in,” Kalb recounted. “He said it louder. I tried to hand him cash out of it but he reached over and said, ‘Gimme your wallet.’ He said ‘Gimme your phone,’ but I didn’t know where the phone was.”
After both of them searched the ground and inside Kalb’s car but failed to find the phone, the suspect, who held a handgun, told Kalb to run away, and Kalb jogged toward his home a half-block away in the lower Rockridge area, he said.
He said he called Oakland police to report a robbery in progress, and police responded with two patrol cars. A neighbor reported seeing the suspect get into a car and drive away from the scene.
The suspect, whom Kalb described as a man in his 20s or 30s, left with Kalb’s tote bag and wallet, which contained less than $20 in cash. Kalb cancelled the three credit cards in wallet and has applied for new driver’s license.
He said he’s grateful to his neighbors for assisting him.
“A couple of them came to see how I was doing,” he said. “It’s nice have neighbors who help neighbors.”
Kalb identifies himself as a policy analyst, environmental advocate and progressive reformer and has made reducing Oakland’s high rates of crime and unemployment among the top issues in his campaign.
He said he wants to increase the police force to 800 officers and expand the number of crime investigators.
“No one is immune from being a potential victim of crime,” he said. “Based on my discussions, people don’t feel as safe as they used to be.”
Kalb was not injured in the robbery, and no arrests have been made in the case, police said.
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