The victim had no idea he was being stalked by three criminals until he was looking down the barrel of a gun, police believe.
He had just left a bank in the quiet island town of Alameda on the morning of Tuesday, June 15, when the trio of armed robbers followed him across the South Shore Center parking lot in search of a quick payday.
“Alameda Police Department dispatchers received the report of an armed robbery with a gun at South Shore Center,” police stated. “Once at the scene, officers were advised that a silver SUV, similar to a Chevy Equinox with three occupants, pulled up to an adult male as he was attempting to enter Safeway. One suspect exited the vehicle, pointed a gun at the victim, and demanded his property. A brief struggle over the items ensued. A second suspect exited the vehicle, pulled out another gun, and demanded the victim’s property. The victim complied, and the three suspects fled northbound on Park Street, likely turning east on Otis Drive towards Fernside Blvd.”
Shaken from the incident, the victim was not seriously harmed. Crime is rare in Alameda, a quiet suburb popular with families who want a laid-back lifestyle while being minutes away from San Francisco and Oakland. South Shore Center is normally teeming with people, particularly in the middle of the day, when the robbery occurred.
“At this time, APD detectives have determined the silver SUV entered the South Shore Center parking lot around 9:50 am and parked within view of the shopping center’s banks,” police continued. “After a brief time in the parking lot, the suspects observed the victim exiting one of the banks. The suspects circled in the parking lot and robbed the victim as he attempted to enter Safeway at 10:05 am. The vehicle was last seen fleeing north on Park Street and is believed to have turned onto Otis Drive.”
Similar robberies have been reported in many other Bay Area communities, like Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Union City, Fremont, and San Francisco. Robbers follow their victim after they leave a bank and mug them of their goods soon after.
A disproportionate number of crimes have targeted elderly Asians throughout the East Bay, raising the specter that criminals may be targeting victims based on perceived race or ethnicity.
Police detectives said they need the public’s help to apprehend the suspects in the latest incident.
“To help in determining the suspect’s path of travel, APD asking community members to review home security systems for the pictured vehicle during the listed timeframes,” the department stated. “TO South Shore Center: (9:40 – 9:50 am) Along Otis Drive, between Park Street and Fernside. Along Park Street between Encinal Avenue and Shoreline Drive. FROM South Shore Center: (10:05 – 10:20 am) Along Otis Drive, between Park Street and Fernside Blvd.”
Police released two surveillance images showing the suspects’ car, a silver four-door SUV.
“Anyone with information or who may have witnessed this heinous crime is encouraged to call our Violent Crimes Unit 510-337-8336,” police stated.