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Congressional candidate robbed at gunpoint

The campaign trail turned into a crime scene Saturday for 17th Congressional District candidate Marleine Bastien.

The community activist running for U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek's seat was robbed at gunpoint outside a North Miami church where she was going to meet voters before Tuesday's primary.

Bastien was sitting in her car with her sister Tahira outside the House of the Living God, 13700 NE 10th Ave., when a silver car -- possibly a Toyota -- pulled up behind them, according to North Miami Police.

A black man in a white sleeveless shirt stepped out of the passenger's seat and walked toward the driver's side of Bastien's car. He pulled out a black, semiautomatic handgun and told the women, "Give me your f------ purses or I'll blow your heads off."

Bastien and her sister did as they were told. The man -- whom they described to police as being between 18 and 24 years old, about 5'3'' tall and weighing 145 pounds -- got back in the silver car and took off.

Lt. Neal Cuevas, a spokesman for police department, said a similar incident was reported shortly before Bastien was robbed.

"Minutes before this one, we believe he committed another armed robbery, same m.o.," Cuevas said.

Bastien could not immediately be reached for comment. Campaign manager Matt De Vlieger said she was at the bank, canceling her credit cards.

Bastien is one of nine Democrats vying for Meek's congressional district, which stretches from Overtown to Pembroke Pines.