Surveillance video shows restaurant robbery

August 6, 2008 8:12:07 PM PDT
Another robbery in the East Bay has police investigating whether it's linked to several other so-called takeover robberies. Police say it's a disturbingly dangerous trend, where the gunmen rob the customers and the restaurant.

With every one of these robberies, pressure rises on the Oakland Police Department to find whoever's doing it and put a stop to them. A source close to the investigation, said they are making progress, but wouldn't reveal details for fear of leaking anything that might give away his investigation. Wednesday afternoon, ABC7 got a very good look at a security camera video.

In Oakland, this is a sequence that has become all-too-familiar and Tuesday night, it happened again. Three robbers with at least one gun, moved in on Skyline Pizza on Keller Avenue, just before closing time.

"They looked confident, they were not nervous or anything this time, they looked like they knew what they were doing and they had no fear," said Woody Tadesse, owner of Skyline Pizza.

It's not the first time Tadesse has been robbed. More worry some, that this is the ninth similar robbery in Oakland in two and a half weeks.

At least four of them have been what Oakland Police describe as take-over crimes. In those cases, the robbers have taken money, not just from cash registers and employees, but also from customers.

Oakland Police will not typify Tuesday night's crime as a take-over, but many of the elements are the same.

"I think at one time, they said it looks like the same guys. It looks like the same guys," said Tadesse.

Oakland Police say the crimes involve two or three suspects covering their faces with hoods or caps.

Two of the robberies happened on Piedmont Avenue, no more than a block and a half from each other. This is a quiet, small business kind of street. Jerry Turner, who owns a hair salon, worries about a cumulative effect on businesses.

"A lot of merchants are wondering if people are staying away because of the robberies going on," said Jerry Turner, a merchant.

It's unsettling, to say the least. Oakland Police continued their investigation, but stayed clear of public comment on Wednesday. They say they're getting closer and the people who live in this city grow more anxious by the day.

"I am incredibly disappointed by our local government. I think these types of robberies are kind of the tip of the iceberg for a lot of more serious problems that have been left to fester for years and years," said Valerie Sharpe, an Oakland resident.

With Oakland Police not going on record on Wednesday, at least not on camera, ABC7's Wayne Freedman went to Mayor Dellums' office to ask him about the progress of this investigation. Was he pleased with it? One of his staffers said that the mayor is keeping up to date, and keeping up the pressure for a resolution. That's what mayors do.


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