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DA: Man convicted for brazen robbery of elderly Citrus Heights veteran

Resident Charles George, with Citrus Heights Police Officers Zazhitskiy and Stevenson.

Sentinel staff report–
A 38-year-old man with a lengthy criminal history is facing up to 50 years in prison after a jury on Friday found him guilty of assaulting and robbing an 88-year-old veteran inside his residence at a Citrus Heights independent senior living community, back in 2016.

According to a March 5 news release from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Benjamin Tremper was convicted by a jury of first-degree robbery with an elderly victim enhancement, and first-degree burglary with the victim home. The jury also found true that Tremper had five 2005 strike convictions for several robberies and a carjacking, in addition to other prior convictions for solicitation of murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and burglary.

Despite his lengthy criminal history, police at the time said Tremper had been released on parole for just 54 days before he entered victim Charles George’s residence around 6 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2016.

The District Attorney’s Office said George, who is a Marine veteran, had gotten up to use the bathroom, but noticed the blinds askew and a sliding glass door open when he returned. While going to the hallway to investigate, he was attacked by the 230-pound Tremper who forced him to the ground after a struggle.

Tremper told him to stay on the ground as he searched for items to steal, but George was able to sneak into a bathroom and pull an “emergency lanyard” to notify staff for help. Tremper fled when staff arrived, but was soon located and arrested by police.

According to a Citrus Heights Police Department news release at the time, responding officers were contacted by security and began searching for the suspect, who was located about a quarter-mile away in a wooded area “as he was changing his appearance.”

Police said George was uninjured during the incident and had his property recovered. Officers also credited him for quick thinking and said Tremper’s arrest would “no doubt prevent future members of our community from becoming victims.”

Tremper’s sentencing is set for April 27, before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Russell Hom, where he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.

Benjamin Tremper, booking photo. // Courtesy, CHPD
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