Robbers escape police in Oakland

May 23, 2008 7:06:57 PM PDT
On Friday, police investigated a kidnapping and robbery in Oakland that stretched through two cities. It ended with heavily armed officers searching for suspects through a quiet, upscale neighborhood near Tunnel Road in the Claremont area. Three suspects are still at large.

The onramp for Southbound Highway 13 is an uphill, hairpin turn. Because it is so sharp, drivers must go only 20 miles per hour on the road. It is the location where the suspects crashed and began their bold escape.

"In the yard. He saw me. I'm so scared, oh my Gosh," said Celia to an officer as she pointed towards the yard.

Celia told police she was working inside of a home on the 100-block of Tunnel Road when two men with shotguns came in the yard and tried to break in.

"He saw me, he went over there. Yes, he's still inside. Two people, two," said Celia to the officers.

Little did Celia know, those two men and another suspect, had spent the morning on a two-county crime spree. Oakland Police say earlier the trio entered a business on International Boulevard then kidnapped the owner.

"They took the victim to his house in San Ramon and spent some time there. It's unclear how long," said Roland Holmgren with the Oakland Police Department.

San Ramon Police said the robbery victim's house is located in the Windemere community. The kidnappers ransacked the home taking cash and jewelry, then fled in the victim's car, which was an Acura.

"CHP was able to spot the vehicle. A vehicle pursuit ensued coming through the tunnel into the City of Oakland," said Holmgren.

The suspects attempted the hairpin turn on the Highway 13 off ramp and crashed. Then they took off running toward Ashby Avenue.

"How dangerous are these guys?" asked ABC7's Pamela Tom.
"Well, they were involved in a robbery, there are possible weapons. So with that, they're always dangerous," said Sergeant D.E. Harrison, with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

Officers from half a dozen East Bay police departments searched the area but after two hours, they declared the robbers got away. The robbery victim was not injured. Celia remained shaken all day.

"I'm only concerned about Celia, I'm not concerned about them in my home," said the Oakland homeowner.

"I'm so bad now, I'm sorry," said Celia.

It is unclear what happened to the third suspect. The suspects are described as in their early 20's, African-American and they were all wearing dark hooded sweatshirts. Oakland Police say it is very unusual for the robbers to kidnap their victim and go so far to get their loot. They are looking into whether the victim and the suspects knew each other and if this crime was planned.


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