Teen to be charged in East Bay robberies

April 22, 2008 8:05:10 PM PDT
A 16-year-old boy will be charged in connection to the East Bay robberies. He will be arraigned on Wednesday and may be tried as an adult.

Oakland police took two juveniles into custody Tuesday night, a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy.

The District Attorney's Office tells ABC7 News that the 16-year-old has been charged with multiple restaurant robberies and is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.

It is still unclear whether the 15-year-old has been charged yet, and the district attorney had not seen the paperwork on that boy yet. All of this is a major break in the case.

"Yes we have some people we're very interested in. We think we're going to be able to solve this case in short order," said Oakland Police Chief Wayne Tucker.

Chief Tucker told ABC7 News investigators were able to identify the two men from surveillance video taken from the Milano restaurant which was hit April 13th.

"There are three people involved in this that we're aware of. Two of them, we're pretty sure of. The third is another issue for us, so we're looking at the video as well," said Chief Tucker.

Chief Tucker says his investigators are pretty sure the other heists were committed by the same group and not by copycats.

The chief and City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente had lunch at Milano on Tuesday to brief the owner and show support to restaurants that had been robbed.

"Looks like hopefully we'll have some good news very shortly. Secondly, I think we're here basically to let the business know we care," said Councilman De La Fuente.

There have been eight restaurant takeover robberies in or near Oakland since the end of March.

Two happened in Berkeley and the latest happened last Thursday in Emeryville.

The brazen armed robberies are making small business owners nervous.

"Restaurants, liquor stores, it's not good, it's not safe. It's not safe no more here," said liquor store owner David Pulido.

David Pulido and his brother Pedro own a liquor store in East Oakland. On Saturday, Pedro worked the night shift. An armed gunman tried to rob the store.

"My brother was standing right here. The guy asked for the money. When my brother turned, the guy shot my brother," said Pulido.

Pedro was only slightly injured after being hit in the hip, and he drew his own handgun, shooting the robber several times. He is listed in critical condition.

David Pulido says he's taking no chances. He's now wearing a bulletproof vest and packing a 40-caliber pistol.

"That's right, that's your life, you know," said Pulido.

He says the sign says it all: "Nevermind the dog, beware of owner."

The 16-year-old is now in custody and charged with the restaurant robberies. He is expected to be arraigned some time on Wednesday.

ABC7 News was told that the DA will ask that he be tried as an adult because of his prior criminal record, which reportedly includes a hold-up.

To view a Google map of the locations of the different East Bay robberies, click here.


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