Armed Thief Strikes School

Attempted robberies with pellet gun shock Alameda High School

At least four attempted armed robberies took place on the Alameda High School (AHS) campus Tuesday afternoon, March 4, according to a letter that AHS principal Robert Ithurburn sent to parents.

In his letter Ithurburn told parents that AHS senior Nijesh Lama approached at least four separate groups of students between 3 and 3:20 p.m. that day. The alleged robber demanded that students turn over their cell phones to him. When asked why, Lama, 18, brandished what looked like a gun, but was a replica that fires pellets, according to APD officer Jill Ottaviano.

None of the students complied with Lama’s demands. When the students refused to hand over their phones, Lama went to the next group without showing much force, according to reports. There were five victims in all. No one was
injured.

Some of victims went to the school’s office afterwards and recounted to school officials what had happened.

"The students who came forward to report this are to be commended for doing the right thing," Ithurburn stated.

Authorities took written statements and notified APD’s current school resource officer assigned to AHS, Mike Gandara. Authorities then called APD and four officers responded. A search for Lama was conducted shortly after. The search ended at Lama’s house where officers took him into custody at 4:17 p.m., according to police reports.

Lama was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin where he remains as of March 11 on $125,000 bail. Lama was charged with two counts of attempted armed robbery, both classified as felonies. Lama’s hearing will take place today at 9:05 a.m. at the Wiley M. Manuel Courthouse.