EXCLUSIVE: Popular 24-hour legacy donut shop in Oakland targeted in armed robbery

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Sunday, June 25, 2023
EXCLUSIVE: Popular Oakland donut shop targeted in armed robbery
Colonial Donuts, a popular 24-hour donut shop in Oakland, is the latest target for a brazen armed robbery.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A popular 24-hour donut shop in the East Bay is the latest target for a brazen armed robbery.

Just before 1 a.m. Friday, three individuals entered Colonial Donuts on Lakeshore Avenue. As soon as the cashier approaches the trio, one after another jump the counter, firearms in hand.

"They're yelling at him and saying do you want to die, pointing the gun at him," says Phing Yamamoto who manages the store.

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The men storm the backroom and demand three bakers lay low while they search for a safe. With no luck, they return to the front of the shop and empty the contents of the cash register.

This location of Colonial Donuts has been owned by Yamamoto's family for nearly 40 years. She describes the small business as her mother and father's American Dream. She herself quit her job at Apple in order to continue the family legacy and move back to her hometown of Oakland.

Yamamoto says her parents and the shop survived Loma Prieta, a recession and the pandemic and hopes that by sharing what happened, it'll spark change within the community. She plans to speak about the incident at the annual Lakeshore Merchants Association meeting on June 27, where Mayor Sheng Thao is scheduled to attend.

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"I hope they know small biz are the heart of Oakland's community and we're looking for help and we are suffering in many ways," says Yamamoto. "I feel defeated at times. I don't know what the answer is but something has to change"

Colonial Donuts remained open Friday, despite the armed robbery. They hope they won't have to shorten their hours in the future because of crime. Oakland Police say no arrests have been made and ask anyone with additional information to come forward.

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