Police sealed off a section of Golden Gate Way in Lafayette early Thursday after two men – believed connected to the previous day’s burglary spree in Moraga and Orinda – were spotted allegedly attempting to burglarize a car along Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Instead, further investigation revealed the two men taken into custody before dawn were not involved in Wednesday’s flurry of burglaries in Orinda and Moraga at all – but were instead spotted by a witness and police near two cars which later turned out to have been carjacked earlier in Oakland and were suspected of an attempted carjacking at First Street and Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Investigators privately expressed concern that the area’s recent crime spike may be an indication of a long, hot summer ahead for locals.
The men arrested Thursday were confronted by police at gunpoint shortly after 4 p.m. when a witness called police to report an attempted carjacking on Mt. Diablo, with one of two suspects confronted at the scene suffering injury when he fell as police moved in. A second juvenile suspect took off running and was seen running through Boswell’s Party Supplies and into backyards before he, too, was caught by officers and tasered behind 3483 Golden Gate Way.
Police spent much of Wednesday searching for one or more residential burglars who struck six homes in Orinda and Moraga. Investigators theorized the burglaries were the work of independent groups of thieves working in the area – at least one group “commuting” from town to town, and burglary to burglary, by BART.
The suspects select a home within walking distance of BART, Lafayette Police Chief Eric Christensen said, and – after burglarizing that home – make their escape on BART, traveling one or two stations away from the incident and then leaving the transit system altogether.
It was initially believed the two men arrested Thursday were the same pair who fled from officers after an attempted burglary in Orinda Wednesday, and who were later seen trying to make their way back to the Lafayette BART station Wednesday afternoon.