Robber shoots at man during robbery in Union City

December 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
If you wear gold, you're a target. Union City police are looking for a man who tried to rob a woman of her jewelry and in the process took a shot at someone trying to intervene. These types of crimes are happening more often with the high price of gold.

Monday afternoon the attempted robbery took place in one of the parking lots at a Union City gated apartment complex.

Union City police have a few photos of the man they say approached two women with a gun in broad daylight. It happened at the Greenhaven Apartments on Alvarado Boulevard. Police say the man demanded one of the woman's gold jewelry when the other woman ran away to summon her husband for help.

"The suspect was still trying to rob the victim and tried to pull off her jewelry, but she couldn't get it off, at which time the suspect saw the husband coming and he told him to step back, the husband didn't," said Union City Police Lt. Kelly Musgrove.

Police say the suspect ended up shooting at the husband, but he missed. He then took off. Managers of the complex have since warned tenants of the attempted robbery through flyers posted in the common areas. Police are also advising people to wear less gold. They say the woman who was almost robbed was wearing gold bracelets, a necklace, and rings.

"They tend to target people who are showing their jewelry and stuff like that. So it's not necessarily a rash going on in Union City. It's just a trend or behavior that's being noticed throughout the Bay Area," said Musgrove.

In fact, such robberies have become such a problem, that Oakland is imposing a moratorium on new pawnshops and second hand buyers of gold, until next march. City leaders say such businesses are ground zero for those looking to unload stolen goods. Especially gold which is fetching around $1,500 an ounce in the commodities market.

"We have seen the connection in the last couple of years between the assaults and robberies," said Oakland Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente.

As for the Greenhaven Apartments, residents here are a bit concerned, especially since the attempted robbery happened in the middle of the afternoon, when people like Rosalind Davis are going back and forth to the laundry room.

"And people do that in all times of the day and night and to think that it could be dangerous to do something as basic as that is kind of scary," said Davis.

Investigators are hoping those surveillance images will lead to some tips. Anyone with information is urged to call the Union City Police Department.


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