Thieves ransack Oakland Post newspaper, stealing $10,000 worth of property

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- For 58 years, the Oakland Post has been covering the news in Oakland. On Wednesday, they became the news.

Shattered glass covered the floors of the largest African American weekly newspaper in Northern California just hours after they were burglarized.

"It's obvious that this person was familiar with the building because they went right straight to our office and they went straight to the office above the floor," said Paul Cobb, publisher of the Post News Group.

The buildings' manager said surveillance video shows a man breaking into the building at 12:48 a.m. Two hours later, two suspects reportedly went back inside the building.

According to Cobb, approximately $10,000 worth of property was stolen.

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"Some personal items, a coin collection and this rare collection of what is called 'Blacks on the Money.' I had a collection of dollars," said Cobb.

Luz Pena: "Do you think this is retaliation for any stories your team has been working on?"

Paul Cobb: "I hope not. I don't know what to think."

In 2007, Oakland Post journalist Chauncey Bailey was killed on his way to work in retaliation for his local investigative journalism.

Two weeks ago, the newspaper commemorated Bailey on the front page of the Post after Oakland named a street after him.

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"I hope there is not a connection, but one never knows," said Cobb.

One floor up from the Oakland Post's office is the nonprofit OCCUR. They were also robbed.

"Knowing that we do nothing, but try to help and try to give and to be there for the community. It's very distressing and disheartening," said Sondra Alexander, OCCUR's interim executive director.

Still shaken, Sondra Alexander showed us around the ransacked office. She said a stack of checks were stolen. This morning she checked their bank account and noticed over $3,000 gone. Oakland police officers were on scene getting fingerprints.

"I hate to say it because I'm a native, born and raised and I love Oakland. It's my home but I'm very distressed right now. Because I'm not feeling safe at all. As a matter of fact we are two doors down from the store that was robbed and where man (security guard) from channel 4 was murdered," said Alexander.

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Early Tuesday morning and into the midday hours residents faced potholes, flooding, and power outages.



Cobb said they are using this crime into an opportunity to report more on helping the community find jobs.

"We are going to have to roll up our sleeves more and we are committed. We have an edition of the paper that we are going to get out tomorrow and tonight we are delayed a little bit but we are going to have a brief story about our own break-in and a brief story about the police graduation. Where we are working together with the police side by side. We are going to do a series now on finding jobs," said Cobbs.

Oakland Police is investigating this robbery.

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