Muggers' spree foiled by victims, cops 

The fourth time was almost the charm for some unlucky robbers who allegedly planned a crime spree that met with limited success in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Police arrested three men from the East Bay on Tuesday night after they allegedly tried to rob three different people in the space of about 10 minutes before finally removing a wallet from their fourth victim.

The thieves had little time to revel in their long-sought success, however, because police arrested them minutes later.

Between 10:15 and 10:25 p.m. Tuesday, the men accosted three different victims around Powell and Bush streets. The first victim, a man holding a briefcase, fought off punches and attempts to grab the briefcase before he ducked into a pizza parlor as the crooks broke off the attempt, San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina said.

The next two victims simply ran from the thieves. One managed to duck behind a locked apartment building security gate, while another simply ran, yelling for help, until the thieves ended the chase, Mannina said.

Finally, the three men allegedly followed a hotel worker through an employee entrance on the 400 block of Sutter Street, where they beat him and took his wallet, Mannina said.

Minutes later, police spotted the men on the corner of Bush and Powell streets and arrested them.

Marcus Ray Spencer, 22, of Union City, was charged with attempted robbery, conspiracy, resisting arrest and furnishing a police officer with wrong identification.

Maurice Dashawn Shepard, 19, of Union City, and Darryl Terrence Bernard, 18, of Newark, were both booked on one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy and three counts of attempted robbery, Mannina said.

"It appears that the mere factthat the victims in this case fought was enough to ward off the robberies," Mannina said.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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