Community groups meet on recent burglaries

November 13, 2008 1:23:15 PM PST
Two neighborhood groups are holding a public meeting tonight to discuss a series of burglaries in North Oakland and the Oakland Hills area and to recognize police officers who arrested two suspects in the crimes.

Chas Langley, a 24-year-old man from Marin City, and Kevin Simmons, a 31-year-old Denver man, were arrested in Oakland on Oct. 27 in connection with the burglaries.

"We can link them up to 10 burglaries right now," Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. "We're still doing the investigation."

Thomason said there were about 30 burglaries in the area between late August and October in which the suspects kicked in the doors of the victims' homes during daylight hours.

Oakland police are also working with other police departments in the Bay Area, including Sausalito and Berkeley, which were investigating similar crimes in their cities.

Tonight's meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Montera Middle School Auditorium at 5555 Ascot Drive, and will be hosted by the Montclair Safety and Improvement Council and the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association.

Several Oakland police officers involved in the investigation will be in attendance to discuss the case and receive special recognition.

Thomason said the burglaries were investigated by the Police Department's problem-solving officers, who discovered similarities in the crimes.

The suspects would strike between two and four homes a day only on certain days of the week, Thomason said. Officers began to compare reports and re-contact witnesses, and were able to put together a suspect vehicle description with a partial license plate.

Officers were conducting surveillance Oct. 27 when they encountered the suspect vehicle in the 5900 block of Balboa Drive.

Thomason said police chased the vehicle, which was reportedly stolen, and tried to box it in. The suspects allegedly rammed an officer's vehicle, lost control and went down a hillside.

Langley and Simmons then attempted to run from officers but were detained and arrested on multiple charges of burglary, possession of firearms and a stolen vehicle and evading police, among others charges.

The Police Department began to fully staff the problem-solving beat, which consists of officers who work with community members to solve problems, in early September through Measure Y funding, Thomason said.


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