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Secret service agent is robbed at gunpoint and causes frowns

The assault of a Secret Service agent in California at gunpoint caused a stir on social media over the weekend.

Tustin police wrote in a statement Monday that officers responded to a possible robbery at about 9:36 p.m. Saturday and learned that a member of the U.S. Secret Service had been robbed at gunpoint, with the suspect taking the agent’s bag, police said.

“During the incident, shots were fired involving an officer (agent),” the statement said.

Secret service agent robbed
A Secret Service agent was robbed at gunpoint in California over the weekend, police said on Monday.

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images

It is not yet known if the suspect, whose whereabouts are unknown, was injured. Officers found some of the victim’s belongings in the area. The incident remains under investigation and there is no known danger to the public, the statement said.

Anthony Guglielmi, communications director for the US Secret Service, wrote in a statement to Newsweek:”A member of the U.S. Secret Service was the victim of an armed robbery late Saturday in Tustin, California, while returning from a work assignment. The employee fired his service weapon during the incident, but it is unknown if the attackers were hit. We are grateful that the employee did not sustain any injuries.”

A Tustin police spokesman said Newsweek that in this case there have been no updates beyond the initial publication.

The incident sparked reactions on social media, with some conservatives expressing concern about crime in California.

Democrats are pushing for reforms to what they see as an unfair criminal justice system that often benefits the wealthy. Prosecutors have implemented measures to reduce inequality in the justice system, such as changes to sentencing and bail.

However, Republicans are pushing for stronger criminal policies that they believe will reduce crime, and blame Democrats for the rise in crime that came with the COVID-19 pandemic by pursuing progressive criminal justice policies. Many experts have pointed out that other factors, such as economic pressures caused by the pandemic, play a larger role in crime trends than any public policy.

“California has deteriorated to the point where Joe Biden’s Secret Service agents are now being robbed at gunpoint,” said conservative commentator Benny Johnson on X, formerly Twitter.

“The situation in California is so bad that a member of Biden’s Secret Service was robbed at gunpoint… and the perpetrator got away. 1) What a crime-infested hellhole 2) Yuck. If the Secret Service isn’t even competent enough to avoid being robbed while armed (the agent returned fire), how can they be competent enough to protect the president?” wrote Will Tanner, editor of the conservative publication The American Tribune.

Crime has risen in California in recent years, according to data from the California Department of Justice. In 2022, 193,019 violent crimes were committed statewide, compared to 183,546 in 2021. No data is available for 2023.

However, crime is declining nationwide. The FBI reported a “historic” decline in violent crime in the first three months of 2024. Between January and March of this year, violent crime fell 15 percent compared to the same period in 2023.