San Rafael, CA – March 22, 2013. One of the victims in a January street robbery was arrested yesterday for orchestrating the crime in order to qualify for an immigration visa.
On January 4th in the early evening two women were robbed at gunpoint at their car after they left the Mi Rancho Market on Belvedere Street. The masked gunman approached them as they were placing a baby into her car seat and groceries in the trunk. He demanded their purses and during a scuffle struck the mother in the head and the other woman in the knee with a handgun. The suspect took both purses and tore a necklace off one of the victims before fleeing the area. The 16-month-old baby was not injured.
During the on-going investigation, detectives developed information that the crime was in fact staged by one of the victims, Josselin Yuliana Rodas. Rodas, who is the baby’s mother, planned the incident with a juvenile male family member. Rodas had a pending immigration case and had been notified that she would have to leave the country by a certain date. It appears that she planned the robbery so that she could apply for a U-Visa due to her status as a crime victim.
The U-Visa program became effective in the United States in 2007. A U-Visa may be granted to undocumented aliens who are the victims of specific serious crimes and who have cooperated with authorities in the investigation and prosecution of the offender.
Rodas, age 29, was booked at Marin County Jail on charges of willful cruelty to a child, conspiracy, and making a false police report. Her bail was set at $75,000 and her first court appearance is scheduled for March 25th. The male juvenile co-conspirator fled the country shortly after the crime and investigators are continuing their efforts to locate him. The other victim was not aware that the incident was planned.