3 people in custody for East Bay robberies

April 24, 2008 10:18:46 AM PDT
There could be an end to those terrifying takeover robberies in the East Bay. Armed young men have targeted eight restaurants and their patrons in the past couple of weeks. Police now have three people in custody, two of them teenagers, and investigators believe all of them were involved in those robberies.

Police and city officials held a news conference at Oakland City Hall plaza, on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., to announce the arrest of a 22-year-old Oakland resident. They already have a 16-year-old in custody who has been charged with the robberies. Independent police sources tell ABC7 they also have a 15-year-old in custody who has not been charged, but they're trying to connect him with the robberies. He could be one of two others that police mentioned in this news conference.

"We do have two additional people identified who we believe are responsible for at least one, possibly two or more, of the robberies we've been seeing," said Oakland Police Spokesman Roland Holmgren.

Wednesday morning, 16-year-old Tanom Domingue was arraigned on robbery charges connected to the takeover of the Milano restaurant. Police say he confessed to being the one with the knit cap in a surveillance video from the Oakland restaurant which was robbed on April 13th.

The Milano was one of eight restaurant takeover robberies in or near Oakland since the end of March.

Domingue is being held on $310,000 bail. The judge also told him to stay away from the nine people whose names she read in court.

"If the suspect should bail out, he's not allowed to contact them. He's not allowed to go on their property or do harassing or intimidating type of maneuvers," said Holmgren.

On Tuesday, Police Chief Wayne Tucker told ABC7 police are still working under the theory that one group and not copycats committed all of the takeovers.

"There's nothing to suggest that we've got other persons than just the crew that were doing it," said Chief Tucker.

In the meantime, the rash of armed robberies in Oakland continued. The latest target was Corey's adult superstore on the 2400 block of Telegraph. It was the second time in 20 days this store has been robbed at gunpoint.

Manager Ramon Mendez showed us the store's surveillance video.

"An African American with a black puffy jacket, red hat, his face was covered, and he had a big gun in his hand. He comes into the store and demands for money to be put in a plastic bag," said Mendez, from Corey's adult superstore.

Its sister store at 57th and Telegraph has been hit four times in four months. Mendez says the police officer who responded to Tuesday night's robbery suggested he arm himself from now on.

"The officer who took the police report suggested that. Personally, I don't think I want to take that route," said Mendez.

Police and city officials met Wednesday with merchants, saying they would do more to ensure their safety so they wouldn't have to defend themselves.

"Lighting, extra patrols and other prevention means that can be used so no longer are they victims or they feel very empowered to defend themselves," said Assistant Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.

The 22 year old Oakland resident who was arrested on Wednesday, has not been formally charged. ABC7 spoke with the prosecutor who is in charge of this case. He said he hadn't seen the paperwork, so he has no idea what evidence the police have against him.

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


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