In a May 17 update on social media, the Piedmont Police Department said it had recently located and impounded the stolen vehicle that was used in the May 6 strong-arm robberies that took place in central Piedmont:
We wanted to provide you with an important update regarding the strong-arm robberies that occurred in our community on May 6, 2023. We have recently located & impounded the stolen vehicle that was used in these crimes.
We want to assure you that this case remains a top priority for the Piedmont Police Department. Our Detectives are actively pursuing all leads and working closely with our law enforcement partners. The safety of our residents is of utmost importance to us and we are committed to bringing those responsible to justice.
If you have any information that may be helpful in this ongoing investigation, we ask you to reach out to us. Specifically, if you believe you have video footage from your home surveillance cameras that could aid our efforts, please reach out to Detective Lagios at (510) 420-3015. Your assistance can make a significant difference in solving these crimes. Thank you for your cooperation and support as we work together to maintain the security of our community.
The incidents happened the evening of May 6. At 6:11 p.m., a strong-arm robbery occurred near the intersection of Magnolia and Bonita avenues. According to Piedmont Police Capt. Chris Monahan, a black Hyundai Kona SUV pulled up with five Black juveniles (male and female) inside. The occupants left the vehicle and “physically assaulted” an elderly female, according to Monahan. They then stole a green Jansport backpack from her.
Monahan said the victim suffered moderate injuries to her face, legs, and arms. “She was transported to Kaiser Hospital for treatment,” he said. Monahan added that there was video surveillance of the attack.
At 6:13 p.m., the same vehicle was involved in a similar attack at El Cerrito and Oakland avenues. The juveniles parked the car on El Cerrito, got out, and attacked another female victim in front of her residence, according to Monahan. One suspect allegedly punched the victim in the face and the group continued to assault her on the ground, according to Monahan. The suspects “ripped” her purse away, leaving the strap around her body. Monahan said she was taken to Highland Hospital for treatment of “moderate to severe” injuries to her head, face, and torso.
When the Department issued the alert, police said it was possible the attacks were preceded by other robberies on Piedmont Avenue.
“We are actively investigating these incidents and are taking all necessary measures to identify and apprehend the suspects,” the alert read. “The vehicle appears to be a newer model black Hyundai Hatchback with tinted windows occupied by multiple suspects.
“We ask that all residents remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Piedmont Police Department immediately. We also urge everyone to take extra precautions when walking or traveling alone, especially after dark.”
In an email to the school community Tuesday, District Superintendent Dr. Donald Evans advised families and children to be aware of their surroundings at all times:
You may be aware of two robbery/assault incidents in our community Friday evening. The first happened on Magnolia Avenue., across from the high schools, near the Bonita Ave. intersection […]
The proximity of these incidents to our schools and their timing – during daylight with after-school events and activities still in session – is very concerning. These unfortunate events are reminders that our community is not immune to crime or the need to be vigilant at all times. Please remind your children to be aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious persons or behavior immediately to a staff member.
Anyone with information on the attacks is asked to contact the Piedmont police at (510) 420-3000.