The Blotter | Police issue alert about robberies

Two incidents on May 6

Two strong-arm robberies within minutes of each other spurred the Piedmont Police Department to issue a community alert.

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.

On May 2 near Grand Avenue and Boulevard Way a 2006 Audi A6 was stopped at 5:24 a.m. for vehicle code violations, according to Monahan. The driver consented to a search of his vehicle, according to Monahan. He said a loaded Springfield XD-9 handgun was found in the vehicle along with 32.38 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 26 grams of suspected cocaine, 15 Oxycodone tablets, and burglary tools. The handgun was clear of fingerprints.

The suspect was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and booked.

A dispute between an AirBnB guest and the host led to a call to police at 2 a.m. on April 29. The reporting person was the guest on Sylvan Way and said to police that there had been a disagreement with the host. Motion sensors had been turning on lights on the property and the guest wanted to check to see if anyone was in the yard. Officers checked the premises and all was clear.

Monahan also noted a periodic issue for Piedmont police — 911 calls with nobody on the line. Police always try to call back or contact the source of the call, according to Monahan.

Two such calls came in the past week. On one, the line was busy when police called back. On the other, nobody answered the door when officers visited the location to check. Monahan reminded residents to keep phones in good working order and to keep children away from the phone.

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