Oakland residents shaken after brazen home burglary


This is on the very edge of Mayor Jean Quan's neighborhood. There are neighborhood watch signs all over the place. On Friday a woman and her grandson survived a terrifying home invasion.

Sunday morning and Oakland police are answering a more frequent call around Tiffin Road and Forrest Hill Avenue. A neighbor reported a home break-in. The front door had been forced wide open when officers arrived to begin their investigation.

As unsettling as that may be, it is minor compared to what happened nearby on Friday at 11 p.m. The victim slept was sound asleep with her grandson in another room.

"I heard a very loud, whiny, cracking sound and sat straight up in bed, saw lights flashing, flashlights," the victim said.

The woman, who does not want to be identified, says two men barged through her front door using a crowbar.

"They shouted at me to get into my bedroom and get into the bed and pull the covers over my head and not to say or do anything," she said.

Police are checking surveillance video at a nearby convenience store and gas station. They told her that about 20 minutes later, the attackers used her credit cards there.

Neighbors say they've been getting more reports of doors kicked in, and car break-ins over the past few months. But the neighborhood watch says problems started two years ago with police layoffs.

"The police are nonexistent and it's not their fault," neighborhood watch captain Dabney Lawless said. "They're understaffed and underfunded and under supported."

Some neighbors will be paying for private security now, while others are taking different precautions.

"So I put a security screen door on and I have a safe and I have a shotgun by my bed," one resident said. "So if they come see me, they're gonna meet Mr. Mossberg."

In the home invasion, the victim says the two men filled a laundry basket with belongings including cash, jewelry, and a computer all in less than ten minutes. She didn't see a weapon, but says she wouldn't be surprised if they were armed.

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