SF Gate, March 24, 2013
A woman allegedly orchestrated a robbery of herself, her 16-month-old baby and another woman in San Rafael to qualify for an immigration visa, authorities said Friday.
Josselin Yuliana Rodas, 29, was arrested by San Rafael police Thursday on suspicion of making a false police report, conspiracy and willful cruelty to a child, police said.
Investigators said Rodas arranged for an underage family member to stage a robbery on Jan. 4.
The boy pretended to rob Rodas, who had her 16-month-old child with her at the time, and another woman at gunpoint as they left a supermarket on Belvedere Street, according to police.
He approached them as they were loading groceries into their car and demanded their purses, police said. He allegedly struck Rodas in the head and the other woman on the knee with a handgun, and took off with their purses and one of their necklaces.
During the investigation, police said they found that Rodas had masterminded the robbery so she would be eligible as a crime victim to apply for a U Visa.
The U Visa program allows undocumented immigrants who are victims of certain serious crimes and who cooperate with investigators to stay in the country for several more years with a temporary legal status and work eligibility.