Attackers gained little in robbery spree that left teacher dead

Las Vegas police said Thursday that a robbery spree earlier this week that involved the beating of several victims and played a part in the death of a high school teacher didn’t result in much financial gain for the unknown perpetrators.

Because of that, investigators have not ruled out the possibility the assailants committed the brazen street attacks early Wednesday morning in the east and northeast valley as thrill crimes "just because."

"The common theme is that the suspects assaulted the victims," homicide Lt. Lew Roberts said. "These (victims) aren’t people that have any sort of real financial means."

Roberts noted that one of the victims was homeless, and at least one more was waiting at a bus stop. He described the attacks as "crimes of opportunity," which occurred when the victims were alone or in remote areas.

"The suspects are assaulting people that are out minding their business, going about their day-to-day routine," Roberts said.

He added police will recommend murder charges against the assailants. Police are seeking at least three suspects, described as Hispanic men and one Hispanic woman. The suspects were described as young adults, between the ages of 18 and 30.

The attacks culminated in the robbery of 50-year-old Timothy VanDerbosch, a science teacher at Eldorado High School, who was beaten by the suspects and then struck by a passing motorist.

VanDerbosch was headed to work at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday when he was targeted in what Las Vegas police described as "a brutal and violent robbery." He lived in an apartment a mile from campus and walked to work early each morning to get a jump on the day.

Police received reports that VanDerbosch was attacked and beaten by several men before he was hit by a vehicle.

VanDerbosch was taken to University Medical Center, where he died.

Roberts said Thursday that VanDerbosch was running away from the suspects when he was struck by the car. The motorist stayed at the scene and is not being charged.

Police think the robbery in the intersection of Washington Avenue and Betty Lane was one of at least four violent acts committed that morning by the same group of suspects.

The first incident happened about 2 a.m. in the 6100 block of East Sahara Avenue near Sloan Lane. Four to six suspects armed with guns and knives committed a robbery on the street, police said. One person was stabbed and taken to an area hospital.

Police reported three other robberies: one near Lake Mead Boulevard and Los Feliz Boulevard, another near Vegas Valley Drive and Hollywood Boulevard, and a third near Bonanza Road and Nellis Boulevard.

At least two other victims were taken to the hospital after being beaten by suspects, said officer Bill Cassell, a police spokesman.

Cassell said the suspects attacked between seven to 10 people. Roberts said Thursday the surviving victims of the attacks were expected to recover.

VanDerbosch’s death devastated the Eldorado High School community.

Students were so distressed that they could not bear to go into VanDerbosch’s classroom Thursday, school staff said. Some of his classes were held in other rooms in the building, they said.

Because VanDerbosch liked to wear blue dress shirts, students planned to wear blue shirts to Eldorado’s home football game against Rancho High School on Thursday night.

Principal Danielle Miller bought a lunch of submarine sandwiches for the staff on Thursday.

She announced there would be a candlelight vigil in the school’s north parking lot at 6 a.m. on Monday. The vigil will follow a march from Washington Avenue and Betty Lane, retracing the path VanDerbosch took to school.

Pam Orr-Sowers, an Eldorado special education teacher who recently died after being in ill health, also will be remembered during Monday’s ceremony.

Police are searching for a getaway vehicle described as a white Nissan that is possibly a four-door sedan.

Roberts said detectives are pursuing leads.

"It is our hope that we have some arrests that will be made in the near future," he said.

Anyone with any information regarding the attacks and robberies is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 385-5555 or the Las Vegas police Homicide Section at 828-3521.

Reporter James Haug contributed to this report. Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638.

ad-high_impact_4
News
NSPCA Gets Kittens From LA
Man killed during road-rage incident
Las Vegas police are looking for two men involved in the shooting death of a man outside a 7-Eleven story at Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway on Nov. 12, 2018. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like