where the flamingcow roams

The odd case of my mugging

I think I'm writing this down just so I can keep track of it all:

I was mugged last September on Mountain Shadows Drive in Mountain View, less than a block from my house. At the time, I was walking home with take-out sushi. The two black guys who mugged me seemed new to the trade: they were confused when I asked them if I could just give them the cash: first they said yes, then they changed their minds when I only had $14. They got the cash, my credit cards, and my driver's license (what a pain that is to replace). They never showed a weapon; apparently, it's a lesser crime if they can manage the robbery without showing one, and I didn't have much incentive to fight.

The events after that are pieced together from credit card data and a police department that is very efficient and enthusiastic, but doesn't communicate well. Someone bought a tank of gas at the local shell station with one credit card. They tried at WalMart, but used the card linked to my ING feeder account at BoA with no money in it, so it was declined. The muggers apparently gave at least one card to a women named Charlotte Rapuet, who took it to Body Kneads and charged $200 to it. She got away with this, despite the obvious gender mismatch, because she knew the clerk, a woman named Yadira Hernandez.

Yadira was caught fairly easily: the credit card company led the police to the spa, where the security camera footage mysteriously didn't match any of the recorded transactions for the evening (she had switched the tape). She plead no contest, turned in Charlotte, and I watched her sentencing today: 12 days served, probation for 2 years, various fines and fees (court security fee?!?) and restitution to Body Kneads (who got stuck holding the bad credit card charge). She looks to be in her early twenties and apparently has one child and a very supportive family. The court waved the public defender fee.

Charlotte has refused to turn in the person who gave her the card, presumably one of the muggers (she made it to the spa within 2 hours of the mugging). Her plea hearing is 9am on March 9th. I intend to attend; this experience has, at the very least, been an interesting lesson in the workings of our justice system.