Stockton (KOVR) — An 83-year-old man held up at gunpoint outside his Stockton real estate office is warning others to beware.
Art Godi has just sat in the driver’s seat of his car when he says the gunman came in through the passenger door out of nowhere.
“He could’ve been around a car there, he could’ve been around in a bush there, he could’ve been in the garbage can area, who knows?” Godi said.
Godi was born and raised in Stockton. At 83, the armed robbery was a first. “Once is enough,” Godi said. “That’s fine that’s enough.”
He said the robber jumped into his car and kneeled on the seat. “He puts the gun this far away and it looked probably like a 32 automatic,” Godi said.
The armed robber demanded Godi’s wristwatch and cell phone, and his ring. Only he couldn’t have that.
“I said, ‘I can’t because it won’t come off, it won’t come off.’ He said, ‘give me the ring, I want the ring.’ So I said, ‘you take it off then,’” Godi said.
The gunman got away — without the ring.
“I don’t mean to make light of it,” Godi said. It’s not fun.”
Godi was not hurt and is seeking no sympathy.
“I mean, he could have hit me with the gun or he could have shot me I guess,” Godi said.
Godi wants people to know what happened to him, for their own sake.
“To warn somebody else,” Godi said.
In his eight decades living in Stockton, Godi has run a successful real estate business, dined with U.S. presidents as the head of the National Association of Realtors, and has earned several keys to California cities. He says he chooses Stockton as his home because he loves it, despite its reputation for crime.
“I hear all the time, ‘oh you’re from Stockton, oh that’s dangerous, I don’t want to go near Stockton,’” Godi said. “I hear that all the time.”
But now his city’s reputation suddenly turned into a personal reality.
“It’s scary for anybody,” Godi said.
Coming face to face with an armed robber, and a survival story of a lifetime he hoped he’d never have to tell.
“I hope he doesn’t come back,” Godi said.
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