General Crime

*Warrant Issued for Craigslist Robber, Damien Bell

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A bench warrant has been issued for an ex-convict dubbed the “Craigslist robber” because he failed to show up for his arraignment on two counts of armed robbery, Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Tom Rogers said today. Damien Bell, 34, of Oakland, who’s suspected of using an Internet ad to lure potential car buyers to isolated East Bay locations, was arrested Tuesday night at Oakland police headquarters, but his bail was only set at $50,000, Rogers said. Rogers said he filed charges against Bell on Wednesday and Bell was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, when prosecutors planned to ask a judge to increase his bail. But Bell didn’t appear in court and a judge issued a bench warrant for him. Rogers said the armed robbery charges against Bell stem from a May 5 incident in the 6000 block of Contra Costa Road above Lake Temescal in Oakland in which two men had more than $200 stolen from them. Bell also is charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a gun, according to Rogers. Bell has two prior armed robbery convictions for incidents in 1999, so Rogers said he plans to prosecute Bell under the Three Strikes Law, which could mean a life sentence if he’s convicted. Authorities say that in addition to the May 5 incident, Bell is also a suspect in several similar robberies in isolated locations in Oakland, Piedmont and Orinda.

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