East Bay takeover robberies turn violent

August 25, 2008 8:19:07 PM PDT
With four more armed robberies in just three days in Oakland, it has brought out the Police Chief and the Mayor. And on Monday night, they upped the ante against the criminals.

The reward has nearly doubled in size to $50,000 to catch the armed robbers who've terrorized Oakland for the past six weeks with 16 separate robberies, and now, they're turning violent.

The most recent hold-ups happened Sunday night at a nail salon in the 6600 block of Telegraph Avenue and a restaurant in the 2000 block of Macarthur Boulevard.

Mayor Ron Dellums says that having four armed robberies in just three days is "just unacceptable" and has raised the reward for those responsible. He has to do something because Oakland Police say they have received no valid leads so far.

"The community needs to step up. The community needs to be the eyes and ears," says Dellums.

With that said, Mayor Ron Dellums announced a $50,000 reward in the spate of takeover robberies. Dellums said the Guardian Angels presence has already reduced crime in the areas they're patrolling. He also wants neighborhood merchants to hire private security guards.

Police Chief Tucker says officers are saturating areas hit by the robbers.

"We have increased the staffing of uniformed personnel along with some tactical officers in unmarked cars who are being very vigilant out there."

The number of robberies in Oakland have skyrocketed. Last year, there were 2,596 incidents. It's only August, but so far this year, Oakland almost has as many robberies -- and no neighborhood has been immune. But now, the armed robbers appear to be hitting businesses other than restaurants and they're getting more violent.

The Royal Nail Spa on Telegraph avenue in North Oakland was hit Sunday night. Two armed assailants took the evening receipts and also robbed workers of their cash. One employee was struck in the head with a gun. Then, shortly after 10:00 p.m., the Full Moon Seafood House was held up and the workers were forced to a back room and robbed.

"He's my husband. He's first guy to open the door," says waitress Waitress Yue Ping.

Ping told ABC7 her husband that her husband was also pistol whipped.

The robberies fit the same mode of operation as the one on Friday night at the Nomad Cafe in North Oakland. In that takeover, the security camera captured two men, at least one armed, forcing employees and two customers into a back room. The robbers are also getting bolder, because a lot of cops eat at the Full Moon Seafood House all the time.

"I mean, they eat here every day. There's about three to four cars parked here every day. So, I can't even understand why they would target this location at all," says Breil Bosworth, neighborhood merchant.

Police say they are making a dent with 52 arrests in just 60 days. Nevertheless the robberies are continuing and getting more violent

We have a map of all the armed robberies happening in the Bay Area. Click here to access it.


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