Takeover robbery at Hayward restaurant

August 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
In the East Bay there was another restaurant take-over robbery, though this time, not in Oakland. Armed robbers targeted the Great River Chinese Restaurant on Foothill Boulevard in Hayward, along with the customers still inside.

Before they could hit the cash register, the two suspects were startled by a car engine and took off. At 8:30 p.m. just before closing time, just like the past robberies, two hooded men, one of them armed, walked into the Great River Chinese Restaurant and began robbing the two customers inside. There were four employees there and two of them ran out of the back of the restaurant, after being told not to run away by the suspect. One of those employees who ran away was a delivery driver.

Click here for a map of armed robberies around the Bay Area

"And then they said, 'Don't run.' I grabbed my key and then I took off out the back. I then let myself in and called with the pay phone and I came out and the police officer was already here," says Jo Zhang, a delivery driver.

It sounds like the delivery driver was peeling out of the parking lot and that's what startled the robbers.

Monday, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums announced the deployment of more officers, including undercover cops to strategic areas of town. Even though he says there are more officers on the street than any other time in Oakland's history, it's been a frustrating game of wack-a-mole. There have been several robberies happening outside of Oakland.

Last night they hit a restaurant frequented by Oakland Police Officers. Now, police are turning to the public for help.

"What we're asking for is the public's participation in assisting us in these efforts to catch the people who are doing this. They mayor mentioned that there is a $50,000 reward. If you have any information you can dial (510) 777-3211 and be assured that your call will be taken very seriously," says Chief Wayne Tucker of the Oakland Police Department.

Police don't believe it's the same two men that are committing all of these robberies. Instead, they have narrowed it down to several different groups. In the past two months, Oakland Police says they've arrested 52 robbery suspects, but the takeover robberies continue and the frustration level continues to rise.

Oakland Police Department anonymous tip line: (510) 777-3211


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