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Police say Rainbow Family attendee tried to rob woman

First Published      Last Updated Jun 27 2014 09:30 pm

Police suspect that a Rainbow Family Gathering attendee tried to rob a woman outside a Walgreens.

The woman, in her 50s, left the Walgreens at 588 S. Main St. in Heber City on Thursday afternoon when three people surrounded her in the parking lot, according to a police news release. They were described as two men in their 20s and a female who were wearing dirty clothing, the release adds.

As one of the suspects asked the woman for money, one of the men tried to take her purse, according to the police. She was able to keep hold of her purse and ran back into the Walgreens, where an employee called 911.

An officer found two of the suspects in the area, and determined that they were attending the Rainbow Family Gathering, according to the release. Forest Service officials said Monday that approximately 650 people have now gathered in the Uinta National Forest as part of the annual tradition.

The woman identified one of the suspects, a 24-year-old from New Jersey, as the man who tried to rob her, according to the release. He was later arrested at the gathering under suspicion of second-degree felony robbery.

The investigation is ongoing and charges may be pending on the other suspects, the release adds.

The alleged attempted robbery comes three days after police say a woman at the gathering allegedly stabbed a man in the head and shoulder. Leilani Novak-Garcia, known among the eclectic group as "Hitler," was arrested Monday night on suspicion of attempted murder.

"The Heber City Police Department recommends that people in our community remain aware of their surroundings when out shopping and walking in their neighborhoods and that they immediately report any suspicious behavior by calling 911," the release reads. "The Heber City Police Department will continue to work diligently to insure the safety and welfare of our citizens."

As of Friday morning, Forest Service law enforcement officers have issued 21 citations for minor offenses, including marijuana possession, motor vehicle violations and off-leash dogs, among others — since the gathering kicked off two weeks ago.


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