General Crime

*Craigslist Robber Damien Bell Arrested AGAIN after Failing to Appear in Court

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An ex-convict dubbed the “Craigslist robber” was arrested in Oakland tonight after he failed to show up for his arraignment more than a week ago, according to the Police Department. Oakland resident Damien Bell, 34, was arrested while he was climbing a fence along state Highway 24 after he ran away from officers at a cafe on 45th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way around 6:30 p.m., police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. Bell is suspected of using an Internet ad to lure potential car buyers to isolated East Bay locations and was arrested May 12 at Oakland police headquarters, but his bail was only set at $50,000, Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Tom Rogers said. Rogers said he filed charges against Bell the next day and Bell was scheduled to be arraigned May 14 on two counts of armed robbery, 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 without bail 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 said 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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