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Lafayette Police Urge Awareness After String Of Armed Robberies; Say Cases Are Similar

Photo: File

Although we’ve gotten no official word from investigating agencies about whether a series of armed robberies and incidents in the 24/680 and East County are linked, a cautionary bulletin from the Lafayette police department suggests they may be.

That agency, which has been busy but which has so far has been spared an armed robbery in its jurisdiction, released information Thursday on a series of recent crimes, including the recent shooting of an Orinda woman and Wednesday night’s 100mph pursuit up I-680, and said they bear certain similarities to other recent, equally violent crimes.

The bulletin urges residents, especially women, to heighten their vigilance and awareness in certain situations in which they may be particularly vulnerable, such as getting out of their car in the driveway of their own homes.

Police said last night’s (Wednesday) pursuit from unincorporated Danville up I-680 and out Highway 24 through the Caldecott Tunnel was preceded by a police alert from Brentwood urging caution after two black males robbed a woman in the driveway of her home there, taking her phone and wallet.

The Brentwood police broadcast was soon followed by a bulletin from Antioch police regarding a robbery in their city which matched the description of the Brentwood robbers as well as their escape car, investigators noted.

Police said a third robbery also occurred in Pittsburg, following armed robberies in Pinole and Orinda, where residents were surprised by a pair of armed individuals who brandished guns and demanded personal items from their stunned victims.

Lafayette investigators said the suspects selected female victims and fired their weapons while performing both holdups, one of which sent Orindan Carol Brown to the hospital with gunshot wounds to the arm and hip.

“Typically, law enforcement sees an increase in robberies as we transition to fall. Darkness arrives earlier, fewer people are out, and the presence of an individual in a mask is not completely odd. While we are unaware of anything that specifically connects these incidents, a relationship could exist between all of these incidents – which may include the Highway 24 corridor.”

Police urged all residents to be fully aware of their surroundings at all times, to watch to see if you are being followed while driving and to call police if you fear you are being shadowed, to drive to a public place where you can be met by officers and to be especially watchful when handling money at a casino or a bank.

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    • Gregg – we just answered a reader with a similar question. Our initial information was that the gunmen in the Orinda robbery/shooting were black and we used that description in our story. We were subsequently contacted by a sheriff’s department spokesperson and informed that the racial descriptor could not be confirmed, presumably because the gunmen were masked, hoodied, etc. We removed the ethnic description at that time.

  1. I hope they try to rob a pistol shooting champion or combat veteran and get their hats handed to them.

    • Chris: Close readers of this site will remember that we posted a description including the suspect’s race within minutes of the crime being reported in Orinda and another we followed in Rodeo. We were subsequently contacted by a sheriff’s department spokesperson and informed that the race of the suspects was “unconfirmed,” presumably because they were masked and hoodied, etc. We removed the racial descriptor believing there was good reason to do so at that time.

  2. So there are two of them, they’re African-American, they have guns and use them against soft targets and they steal cars as they go. Do I have it right now?

  3. So you had information they were African American and printed that but then retracted it when the police said they couldn’t confirm it? And then they turned out to be African American?

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