Triple Oakland robberies occurred Sunday

July 29, 2008 12:41:07 AM PDT
Another wave of fear and concern is sweeping though East Bay restaurants. Oakland Police are looking into three weekend robberies. One at Gregoire on Piedmont Avenue, one at Bay Fung Tong Tea House on Franklin Street, and the last one at Happy Valley's on East 12th Street.

Three armed men walked into the Bay Fung Tong Seafood Tea House in Oakland's Chinatown. They robbed the restaurant and all nine customers. This happened Sunday night around 9:30 p.m. and about seven minutes later, another armed man robbed Gregoire's Restaurant, two miles away.

"It's just scary because it's a very safe neighborhood. I've been living here five months and I feel very comfortable walking around at night and it just makes me feel nervous that it happened here," said Elsa Hangle, an Oakland resident.

On Saturday night, three armed men robbed Happy Valley's Restaurant, also in Oakland's Chinatown. About 25 customers had to hand over their wallets.

"The investigators are looking into them. Similarities, yeah. The style, the manner, of the type of crime that it was, the amount of suspects," said Oakland Police Officer Roland Holmgren.

In March and April, at least six East Bay restaurants were victims of takeover robberies.

"Of course I'm concerned. I'm also confident we'll get them in custody because I think if you look at our track record this year, we've been pretty successful in catching these individuals in these types of crimes," said Holmgren.

Even though Oakland Police arrested at least two suspects connected to the spring robberies, most of the restaurant owners have been afraid to talk to us on camera.

The owner of Happy Valley's restaurant tells me, in the past three to four months, several business owners in the area a have been robbed by the same three masked men.

On Monday, investigators tried to figure out if the latest robberies are related and if they're tied to the ones that happened last spring.