VIDEO: San Francisco police arrest 3 in armed robbery of tourists in Russian Hill

Kordell Carter (left), Pravin Lal (center), Lamar Fontenot (right)


SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — Plainclothes officers caught and arrested three men three men in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood on Saturday after an armed robbery targeting tourists, police said.

Police arrested Kordell Carter, 20, of Santa Rosa, Pravin Lal, 20, of Marin City, and Lamar Fontenot, 19, of Antioch for the robbery. A video posted to YouTube that had more than 800,000 views as of Monday shows the robbery and resulting police response.

Officers from the department’s Central Station’s plainclothes team were working a vehicle theft assignment around 1:10 p.m. Saturday when they saw the suspect park a Chrysler in the 1000 block of Filbert Street, according to police.

One of the suspects stayed with the vehicle while the other two walked toward the famously “crooked” section of Lombard Street nearby.

One suspect approached three female victims, took out a gun and demanded their property. One victim ran away screaming for help, while the other two fought to hang onto a backpack and camera, police said.

A plainclothes officer who observed the robbery reported it and called for backup as the second suspect stepped in and helped take the items away from the victims, according to police.

When the suspect ran back to the Chrysler, the officers took them into custody and recovered the backpack and camera, as well as a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen in Louisiana.

The trio was arrested on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy, possession of stolen property and firearms offenses. Carter was also booked on a felony warrant out of Marin County, while Fontenot was also arrested on suspicion of possession of a burglary tool.

Mayor Ed Lee issued the following statement on the robbery:

On behalf of the residents of City and County of San Francisco, I thank the officers from Central Station’s Plain Clothes Team who apprehended the armed suspects who were allegedly preying on tourists. The officers recovered both the backpack and camera that were taken as well as a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen in Louisiana.

Our officers work hard every day to keep our City safe and put their own lives at risk to protect our residents. Because of their heroic actions, they helped to protect innocent lives and also helped to get an illegal gun off our streets.

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