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Daylight Armed Robbery In Downtown Lafayette Saturday

A Lafayette police spokesman confirms accounts of an armed robbery in the parking lot near McCaulou's Saturday.

A police spokesman has confirmed reports Patch received Saturday about a daylight armed robbery in the McCaulou's parking lot.

Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said the incident occurred just before 3 p.m. in the parking lot as the suspect approached a 71-year-old woman, displayed a handgun and made off with her purse.

Lee confirmed witness accounts that the suspect also brandished the weapon in the direction of a witness who tried to intervene.

The gunman, described as a black male in his early 20s, fled in a 4-door maroon-colored car last seen heading west on Mt. Diablo Boulevard. Lafayette police responded but could not locate the suspect or vehicle. No one was injured during the robbery.

Lee asked anyone with any information on the case should call the police at (925) 646-2441. 

Also Saturday, Patch received a report of an incident at the corner of Mosswood and Village Center, where two women parked prior to a walk to the Lafayette Reservoir. Both women put their purses in the trunk of their vehicle.

Witnesses reported hearing a car alarm sounding soon after and noticed that the driver's side window had been smashed. They told Patch a man was seen taking the purses and leaving the area in a black truck.

Sara February 05, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Very disturbing if true. Saw a single police car in the parking lot at around that time yesterday but it was very crowded and there were a lot of people around. Pretty brazen if it happened this way.
Ed February 05, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I would certainly be cautious in using "Patch regulars" as a source to publish upon. As many of us remember, the last time the trustworthy local provided an inside scoop there were accusations of child molestation that turned out to be false. Damaging to the people involved,mdamaging to the community and damaging to the Patch...
Death and Taxes February 05, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Good point Ed. There have been more than a few articles which reported some sort of crime that turned out to be 'something different.' There seems to be a zeal to report crime...but that can be expected from a local blog trying to grab readers. Sensationalism works...look at People Magazine and other such publications which sell a lot of magazines at the Safeway checkout line.
Sue Haas February 05, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Except, well, in this case they were right. Again.
Tim Davis February 05, 2012 at 07:44 PM
The only sure thing, besides Death and Taxes, is that Death and Taxes is going to post something anti-Patch! You can say what you want but they are right on more often than not and hours if not days ahead of anyone else. Has anyone else written about this? Not that I can find and Ive been looking since they posted because I shop there all the time. Do I want to know whathappened? You bet I do. And they were the only ones who reported it.
Lee daniels February 05, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I have no doubt there are people and organizations here that would be happier if this information were not printed. I like to know what's going on and this is where I can get that information. Sensational??? Are we reading the same article?
Patrice Martens February 05, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Ooops...
Chris Nicholson February 05, 2012 at 11:27 PM
With so many eyewitnesses, why not print a description of the suspect(s)? Do the descriptions of the suspects in the two incidents match (I see that different cars were used, but they were likely both stolen anyway)? Seems like pretty basic info that would help the community be safer and more helpful. Not picking on Patch, but when a description of the suspect is omitted by any media outlet, I often fear that political correctness has trumped public safety.....
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) February 06, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Gentlemen -- It seems you know less about the circumstances surrounding the story you cite than you do about community journalism but there you go. Suffice to say Patch took every step and more to vett the story in question and had it confirmed by a key city official who later retracted their position. So there we were. But it doesn't matter, if it goes on the site we take responsibility and we did. Now, as to Saturday's story, if you would rather get news of that sort two, three, four days after the fact -- or not at all, there are outlets available for you to do just that. We invite you to stay with those outlets. We chose to serve the 9,600 people who came through the site to read what we had on that incident THAT DAY, believing that people wanted to know what was going on as quickly after the fact as possible. And we'll continue to approach the news in that manner... so just letting you know now.
Chris Nicholson February 06, 2012 at 05:44 AM
I don't know anything about journalism, but it seems that credible but unconfirmed information of this nature should be published as "breaking news" with disclaimers as to its unconfirmed nature (which I think was the case here). I think this is particularly true where the risk of being wrong is minimal. Even if a physical description of the suspect were provided, s/he would be effectively anonymous and, in the info turned out to be wrong, the "wrongly accused" would either be non-existant or unidentified..... I really value these kinds of stories, even though the substance is a bit enraging/depressing. Makes me want to a get a sturdy sock and head to bank for some quarters....
Ed February 06, 2012 at 06:14 AM
JD, thanks for the education on "community journalism" vs. "community blog". Even thoug i don't fully agree, I'm sure the people involved in the relevant article in the past will find some comfort in it. My point was made prior to the update of the story (which now contains facts and cites officials such as Mr. Lee) and is no less valid now that this article proves accurate.
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) February 06, 2012 at 02:50 PM
One point about the "Regulars" or "Patch Irregulars," Ed. They are your neighbors. They are downtown merchants. They are off duty police and firefighters. We are blessed to have their trust and they ours. When things happen, they call us -- as they did Saturday.
Sandy February 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I want to know when these things are happening. Why *wouldn't you want to know?* I don't understand that position at all.
Ed February 07, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Thanks again, JD, but that does not address my original point. This is not a question of "do I want to know of crime, or do I not want to know of crime in my neighborhood", nor is it a matter of trusting my neighbors, or firefighters, or merchants. It's a caution, based upon past real experiences, against using unverified or uncited people on the street / "regulars" of any origin. I am an avid reader and fan of the patch, and would like to see its journalistic integrity standard held high. As you do.
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) February 07, 2012 at 01:29 PM
@Ed I think I understand your point, but am unclear on the thrust. Are you saying you trust only that news generated by "official sources?" As far as I can remember, and believe me I go back a fair way, 99 percent of the news I've covered has come from a person in the street who saw something in his or her community and asked us to cover it. We talk with them and we bounce what we learn off officials who, hopefully, are in a position to comment on it. Nothing has changed, that's the way it has been done for years -- except now we're much more immediate and interactive. I don't know, I THINK we're agreeing, can't always be sure and I take nothing for granted. One thing is certain, the news organization that DOES NOT listen to the people on Main Street -- who we've come to call "The Irregulars" -- is doing a disservice to the people it's trying to serve.

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