Oakland cell phone stores robbed at gunpoint, employee put on hold during 911 call

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) — At least three Metro by T-Mobile phone stores in Oakland have been robbed at gunpoint in the past two months — and store owners say the same man is to blame.

One owner said when his employee dialed 911 for help during the robbery, she was put on hold.

Two of the robbery cases happened this week.  

The armed gunman entered the store with a total disregard for everything, pointing and waving a gun at a clerk in Oakland as he robbed a Metro by T-Mobile, formerly known as Metro PCS store.  

No mask, no gloves — just demands.

“You can tell he’s used to doing this, he’s used to getting away with this and he knows how the system works,” the store owner said. 

Store owners said this robbery happened at a store location on Foothill Boulevard near High Street back in mid-October.  

Since that time, two additional Metro by T-Mobile stores have been hit, according to owners — one on Monday and one on Tuesday.  

A person appearing to be the same man can be seen on surveillance video.  

At Ian Taha’s store on 38th and International in Oakland, the man comes in and goes from clerk to clerk, pointing his gun at different people and demanding cash.

“The gun was no joke, the gun had a magazine that looked like it was a extension,” Taha said. “It didn’t seem legal either. [The gunman said] ‘everybody get down on the ground, everybody get down on the ground.’ And just screaming at the top of his lungs ”

One employee crawled to the back room during the robbery.

As she did that, one customer crawled with his son behind the counter where he then shielded him to protect him from a possible gunshot.  

No shots were fired, no one was hurt and the thief made away with limited cash.  

An emergency button alerting police was pushed early on, but Taha is still outraged that his employee who called 911 couldn’t even get through and was placed on hold.

“We think somebody would be on the line to comfort, tell you ‘everything’s going to be okay, officers on the way.’ No, it just played some music for 3, 4, 5 minutes,” Taha said. “I hope they see this, I hope they catch this guy.” 

Taha says the last thing he wants to see is the suspect killing someone in another armed robbery. 

The owner is also worried that if the suspect is not caught, he’s going to keep doing this.

The Oakland Police Department is looking into the robberies. 

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