East Bay News
Brazen jewelry store robbery in Oakland caught on video
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A jewelry store clerk was robbed at gunpoint. And thanks to the advice of the Oakland Police Department, she had security cameras installed so the whole thing was caught on video. But OPD says that because of low staffing levels, crimes where no one is hurt or killed take a lower priority.
Patty Tam did everything right. She kept her cameras rolling while she was being robbed at gunpoint. She says she turned that video over to police back on June 20. After waiting nearly a month to hear from them, she shared it with me. It's video you'll see only on ABC7 News.
"First, he didn't act like an armed robber," Tam said.
But then, she says things changed quickly. Seconds after she buzzed the man into Au Grillz Jewelry on International Boulevard, he pulled a gun and shoved it in her face.
"He mostly like, pointing the gun, telling me, 'hurry, hurry, hurry,'" she said. "Like, mostly telling us what he want."
The brazen crime was captured by multiple store security cameras.
Tam says when the gunman started yelling and making demands, her fear was replaced by anger.
"He tossed the bag at my face," she said. "So I was mostly angry, I tossed it back at him."
As soon as the robbery started, Tam's manager hit the store's silent alarm. But it would only take a total of two minutes and 21 seconds for the bandana wearing bandit with the backpack to make off with more than $5,000 worth of jewelry.
Adding insult to injury, Tam says she hasn't heard from police since being robbed back in June and that officers never even looked at her security video.
"They didn't even know they had it," Tam said.
This isn't the only time cameras have recorded a crime, where victims feel they have been left with few or no answers from OPD.
Back in June, security cameras captured thieves ramming a truck into a gas station wall several times before tearing out the ATM and driving away. That owner too says he hasn't heard from police since it happened.
"When robberies occur or crimes occur, we certainly have to take them into priority," OPD spokesperson Johnna Watson said.
Police tell me staffing issues within the department means that fewer officers available to work robbery and burglary cases. And it's true that even though both of these crimes were caught on tape, they have lower priority.
"If someone who is injured or killed, that priority will certainly go to the top," Watsons aid. "And then if it's a report, we will have to follow-up with our investigations."
Until then, police still advise merchants to have security cameras as a second set of eyes and an investigative tool for when that detective finally gets there.
oakland, crime, OPD, guns, violence, east bay news
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