Police spend day searching for burglary suspects

Police cruiser crash in Hayward

March 30, 2011 8:13:40 PM PDT
Residents of one Hayward neighborhood got quite a scare Wednesday when a group of suspected burglars decided to run from the police and try to hide in nearby homes. Police searched the area, from Darwin Street to Leeward Street, for hours. It started with a stolen getaway car that the burglars left behind when they took off to hide inside people's homes.

The three burglary suspects were believed to be holed up inside someone's house in the usually quiet Hayward neighborhood, so police in SWAT gear, with their guns drawn went door to door looking for them.

Snipers in camouflage climbed on roof tops and officers made sure every inch of the neighborhood was covered, from backyards, to front porches, dogs hunted for the suspects' scent.

"We have to make sure that there is nobody inside any house; there's always the potential that our suspects have fled into a house that was occupied, which is why it's highly important to us to make sure that's not the case ," Hayward Police Lt. Roger Keener said.

It started on Leeward Street at 9:30 a.m.; a woman called police and hid in her bedroom when she heard burglars inside her home. When officers arrived, the suspects drove off, ramming into a police cruiser trying to escape.

Police say the suspects split up and ran through the neighborhood. Three hours later, a police dog found one man hiding in a backyard shed. The dog bit the suspect to get him out and another dog also accidentally bit an officer during the search.

Police finally convinced a second suspect to leave the home he had been hiding in almost all day. He said he would only come out if he was allowed to use the restroom first.

His mother watched as he was taken away.

"It's going to be OK, you didn't do nothing, baby," she said.

Residents recently started a neighborhood watch because of all the break-ins in the area.

"May last year I had a burglary; they broke in and ransacked and took a lot of my valuables," neighbor Theo Gray said.

Wednesday, residents watched the action unfold in their own front yards and did not mind the inconvenience.

"I'm actually very happy to see it; our police department in Hayward is probably one of the best," neighbor Robert Imazumi said.

The third suspect was never caught. Police are now trying to find out whether they are linked to other crimes in the area. Police are praising the woman at the start of the day who called police when she heard the burglars inside her home. They say that was the right response in a very scary situation.

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