A foreign exchange student from the Netherlands was robbed on his first day in San Diego.
The robbery happened in broad daylight when 21-year-old Thomas, who didn't want his last name made public, was walking down 30th Street, near Howard Avenue in North Park.
“Everybody’s walking. I never would have expected it,” said Janet Doré, Thomas’ host mother.
The robbery happened at 3 p.m. Wednesday near a construction site.
“He said it was a 15- or 16-year-old kid," Doré said. "A little rough looking and told him that he had the choice to give him his phone or he’d hurt him."
The robber didn’t take the phone, but he did take all of Thomas’ cash.
“He said his first though was, ‘This country has guns,’” Doré said.
Thomas wasn’t physically injured, but the robbery has left a traumatic impression on the young man.
“He only lost $60, but I feel like he lost a lot more than that," she said.
Thomas is preparing to start the semester at San Diego State.
Doré is hoping the robber is caught soon, so that Thomas, and the neighborhood, can rest a little bit easier.
Doré has set up a GoFundMe page to help Thomas during his time in the U.S.