President Obama will replace coin stolen from 94-year-old Richmond woman
RICHMOND, Calif. (KTVU) - The 94-year-old woman, who had a Presidential coin stolen from her during a home-invasion robbery, received some good news Thursday.
Government officials told Betty Reid Soskin that she’ll get a replacement coin. Tom Leatherman with the National Park Service relayed the news to Soskin after receiving an email from the Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell.
"I'm sorry that the coin and other items were stolen. We will work with the White House and get a replacement coin from the President," says Leatherman.
During a tree lighting ceremony back in December, President Barack Obama presented the coin to Soskin for being the oldest national park ranger.
Early Monday morning an intruder not only beat her, but stole her iPad, laptop, and the coin that President Obama gave her.
KTVU's Paul Chambers was with Soskin when she learned she was getting the replacement coin. Although grateful, she says the replacement coin isn't the same.
"There’s a part of me that is really kind of resistant to having a replacement coin when it was in the experience that the magic is," Betty Reid Soskin of Richmond.
Soskin says it was an exchange with the President, which makes the original coin so special. But what you don't know is the meaning behind it. Soskin's great grandmother was born a slave and during that ceremony with the President she held a picture of her great grandmother in her hand.
"To have us on that platform together with America’s first African-American President you can imagine the emotion that would produce in me. It’s that experience that has meaning for me not the coin. I want the original coin returned," says Soskin.
Police need your help locating the suspect. Soskin says it was dark and she has very little to go on. She describes him as a white male, in his early to mid-20s, 5’8” and with a slim build. Police also want pawn shops and others to be on the lookout for the Presidential coin.