EXCLUSIVE: Siblings call for accountability after pre-teens arrested for Oakland carjacking

Police documents show a 12-year-old and 13-year-old were arrested in connection to the carjacking of the Tang siblings in Oakland.
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- You could call it an underaged crime spree - minors, as young as 11, suspected in connection to violent and brazen robberies and carjackings. One of the latest incidents involves a family who missed out on spending time with their dying relative because they were carjacked by these youths.

Requesting privacy, as they work through their pain, the Tang siblings recall the terror that unfolded outside their aunt's home in Oakland in early April.

"They got out of the car, they walked toward us. One in the back was brandishing a gun on his hip.

My throat was choked up, I couldn't say anything. I couldn't believe it was happening." Says the brother.

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The Tangs were in Oakland to join family and be at their terminal cousin's bedside when they were ambushed by multiple young people. Ms. Tang was shoved to the ground.

Ms. Tang knew they were after her keys. The suspects took the keys and a phone and drove off in Ms. Tang's car. Three days later, police documents show a 12-year-old and 13-year-old were arrested in connection to the crime.

Ms. Tang was was shocked when she learned the news from Oakland police.

"How are they doing these things?" she asked. "When I was 12 I was not like that at all!"

Mr. Tang said the entire incident happened within a matter of minutes and seemed like the suspects knew what they were doing.

Nearly 1-year ago, I broke a story where an 80-year old man was knocked to the ground and robbed in San Leandro. This case happened at a time when San Leandro police reported a 300-percent increase in attacks on Asian Americans in 2021, compared to 2020, and involved multiple individuals under 16, including one of the same suspects in this recent carjacking, who was 11 at the time.

Days after that incident in San Leandro, the same 11-year old was involved in a carjacking of an Asian woman in Oakland.

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Over the past year, multiple law enforcement agencies have told me that young people continue to commit armed robberies across the Bay Area.

The question of why the youths continue to reoffend was posed to the Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern.

"Street gangs encourage youngsters to do these carjackings and it gives them credibility with their crew, with their gang, and they continue to do these violent acts," he said. "Juvenile suspects when they're taken into custody on serious offenses, we can not interview them in regards to that crime. Many times they're taken into custody and then released."

The sheriff says preventative programs to provide youth another outlet are crucial.

"We're trying to get to these individuals in unincorporated areas to provide them access to programs, athletics, better access to learning programs, education," said Ahern. "Boxing programs, we have soccer programs. We want to make sure they have access to get a job."

As for the Tang siblings, while they were outside dealing with the trauma of being carjacked and assaulted, their ailing cousin passed away inside. Mr. Tang recalled the moment with tears in his eyes.

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"My mind was torn," he said. "I wanted to be with my relative so bad, and I have to deal with this carjacking. I wanted to give police information when it was fresh in my mind but I wanted to be with my cousin even more."

Despite California laws, Ms. Tang hopes there is a way to hold these young people accountable.

"They should get punished fairly," she said. "It's just sad Asians get targeted, because we never put a threat on anybody. It's just so unfair."

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