San Leandro police search for suspects in series of armed robberies


On the security video you can see two robbery suspects entering the Grocery Outlet on East 14th Street. They walk over to the clerk at register six and one of them puts a gun in the clerk's back and then to his head, demanding that he open the register.

"There was customers running to the back running out the doors to the emergency exit," store manager Mike Vaughn said.

Vaughn was the manager on duty that night. As the gunman fired a shot into the ceiling, he tried to keep everybody calm.

"Some were crying and emotional, they didn't know what to do," Vaughn said. "They froze up and that's when I said, 'hey I'm the manager of this shift I'll open the register for you they can't open it.'"

The gunmen cleaned out several of the registers and then left. In the past couple of months they've hit a Home Depot, a Dollar Tree, and five other similar stores.

"We're not talking your convenience store at the corner, we're talking a large retail store," Lieutenant Randy Brandt said.

Lt. Brandt says the video at the Grocery Outlet is particularly concerning because in the video the suspect can be seen raising his gun and firing a round into the ceiling.

San Leandro police are releasing the video along with a $20,000 reward in hopes that there will be no gun battle when the suspects are finally caught.

"That someone may be a family member or a friend who will recognize them from this video will step forward and we'll have a peaceful outcome on it," Lt. Brandt said.

We showed the video to customers at several stores. Some said they could recognize the men, if they knew them.

Remember pictures we showed last February of two men trying to break into a house in San Leandro? Since we aired the video, one man was arrested through an anonymous tip and the second man identified and police are looking for him.

San Leandro police tell me they are getting calls from residents asking that they release more surveillance video because they want to help clean up their town.

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