Community activist robbed at gunpoint

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Chris Briscoe says she was approached in her garage. A Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff’s station lieutenant says similar incidents have not been reported in the city.

By Kevin Connelly/Special to The Malibu Times

A Malibu woman well known in the community was robbed at gunpoint Friday evening in front of her home at the 19000 block of Pacific Coast Highway, according to Sheriff’s officials.

Chris Briscoe said the incident occurred after she came home from the Pasadena Veterans Affairs Hospital on Friday. She said the suspect took a Rolex watch and a three-karat diamond ring, with the two items valued at more than $40,000.

Briscoe said as she parked her vehicle inside her garage the suspect approached her with abrasive language and was holding a gun. She said the man told her, “I don’t want to hurt you. Just give me your watch and ring.”

The suspect then asked her to lie face down in front of her vehicle as he escaped, she said. In fear for her life, Bricsoe said she complied with all the suspect’s demands.

“It was so surreal,” Briscoe said in a telephone interview Monday. “I didn’t think it was happening, but it was. I was really shaken. My ring was stuck to my finger and I had to lick it in order to remove it.”

Briscoe said she was not sure if the suspect followed her home. She said she saw a car stop suspiciously on the road prior to the incident, but was not sure if it was the one the suspect was driving.

The suspect, who has not been apprehended, was reported to be a 6-foot, 1-inch tall, 165-pound black male in his mid-20s. He was believed to be driving a white sport-utility vehicle at the time of the incident.

On Monday, Briscoe said she was still a bit shaken from the incident. “How do I take the trash out now?” she asked. “How do I get the mail? Should I be afraid to go into my garage to get groceries?”

The Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station is continuing to investigate the incident. Lt. Randall Dickey said there were no significant leads as of Monday.

In response to the incident, Dickey urged Malibu residents to always “be observant of what is around, and close garage doors” even in places that might be deemed safe such as Malibu. Dickey said this is not a recurring problem in the community as there have not been any similar incidents to report in the area to the best of his knowledge.

However, Malibu is not without serious crime. The Los Angeles Times in a Dec. 28, 2004 story, reported that Malibu had 50 violent crimes or offenses take place in 2004 as compared to Palos Verdes Estates, which had only one act of serious violence for the entire year.

In addition, there are weekly reports of car break-ins, with a rash of 41 taking place the beginning of 2004. Recent burglaries and attempted burglaries have taken place at local businesses as well. Several local restaurants were reported broken into mid-December, including Geoffrey’s where owner Jeff Peterson actually encountered a suspect, who was not armed. Crush Boutique was reportedly broken into and cash and some merchandise were stolen.

Goodson’s jewelry store in the center of Malibu was reportedly burglarized as well late last year.