Who is Mohammed Nuru? San Francisco ex-official, 58, arrested for allegedly using knife to steal potato chips

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office, however, declined to file attempted robbery charges against Mohammed Nuru after his arrest


                            Who is Mohammed Nuru? San Francisco ex-official, 58, arrested for allegedly using knife to steal potato chips
Mohammed Nuru had tried to steal a bag of potato chips (San Francisco Public Works)
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SAN FRANSICO, CALIFORNIA: According to police sources, the disgraced former director of San Francisco's Public Works Department was arrested for reportedly attempting to steal a man's potato chips with a kitchen knife. Mohammed Nuru, 58, allegedly drew out the weapon and demanded the unnamed worker's bag of snacks at the food bank at 11.15 am on June 2, forcing the victim to run and call 911, according to a municipal police source. He later said he was joking. The San Francisco District Attorney's Office on Thursday, June 3, declined to file attempted robbery charges against the former public works head after his arrest Wednesday.

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The state of California has seen many robberies and vandalism in recent times. As early as January this year, the state was in the news when Speaker Nancy Pelosi's SF home was defaced with pig's head and fake blood after Covid pay blocking. In May this year, an elderly Asian man was knocked to the ground by San Fransisco teenagers and robbed in broad daylight. Another elderly man collecting recyclables was robbed in February last year, while Bay Area rapper Mike Darole was fatally shot during a robbery in May this year. 

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Who is Mohammed Nuru?

Nuru, 58, who was indicted on corruption and bribery allegations in January, was originally recognized as potentially mentally disturbed by the victim, according to police. According to the San Fransisco Chronicle, Nuru was director of San Francisco Public Works.

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Since 2020, Nuru has been the subject of a corruption probe. In January 2020, the FBI arrested former public works director and restaurateur Nick Bovis, alleging that the two men conspired in 2018 to bribe a San Francisco airport commissioner for valuable restaurant space at the San Francisco International Airport. The $5,000 bribe was not accepted by the commissioner, ABC7 reported. He resigned from his post following the FBI indictment. 

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According to the United States Attorney's Office for Northern California, the two engaged in a plot "to defraud the public of its right to honest services of a public official through bribery or kickbacks," which they did in violation of their duties. Bovis agreed to cooperate with a federal investigation and plead guilty to wire fraud and honest services wire fraud in May 2020.

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Nuru has volunteered at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank in the Dogpatch neighborhood for a long time, according to Keely Hopkins, the organization's communications manager. Around 11:15 am., he was working with volunteers when the incident occurred. 


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According to Hopkins, Nuru approached a person, who was either a volunteer or a temporary worker, eating potato chips in the break room and brandished a kitchen knife similar to the ones used at the food bank. She said the victim felt threatened and phoned the cops. Nuru has claimed that he "meant it as a joke."

No one was wounded, according to Hopkins, and the other volunteers were sent home. Hopkins stated that no one else was present at the time of the incident. A source close to the case told KTVU that a witness corroborated that it was a joke. The evidence didn't show Nuru actually intended or tried to take the chips, the source said.

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