OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – On Wednesday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and the Oakland Police Department denounced the recent uptick in violence in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood.
Over the weekend, several robberies were caught on camera.
Oakland police say they made an arrest in one of these robberies from the weekend. While they are not bringing back foot patrols due to budget shortfalls, they say they are reallocating resources to the area.
The city says suspects are targeting the Asian community and its elders.
“I want to start by apologizing to the victims of these heinous crimes. I cannot imagine the trauma that you, your family, your loved ones, and this entire community is feeling as a reverberation of this violence,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said.
Mayor Libby Schaaf says the city budget doesn’t allow for bringing back foot patrols to Chinatown, however she said on Wednesday that the city will work to get cameras previously approved up and running.
Meanwhile, the police department is pleading for victims to come forward, saying they may have a piece of information that can help solve other crimes.
“Assailants are preying on Chinatown because they’re under the guise that victims are not coming forward so that makes it easier for them. Let’s not do that. Let’s make it difficult for them and of course, under our current budgetary constraints we don’t have the money for overtime but that doesn’t mean to diminish the reallocated resources that I have working on straight time,” Captain Bobby Hookfin said.
Despite budget shortfalls, Oakland police say the department will commit resources it currently has to this area.
In an effort to prevent more attacks like this ahead of the busy Chinese New Year.
Over the weekend, three women stole from Kelli Smoke Shop on Webster Street and almost ran over the business owner as they took off in their getaway car after a confrontation.
On Friday, a suspect known to frequently prey on Chinatown businesses was also caught on camera snatching money from paying customers inside Chung Chou City Market on Franklin Street.
Oakland police say they arrested the thief, now known as 22-year-old Deveion Byrd of Vallejo, who has pending charges in other Chinatown theft cases.
In another effort to deter crime here, the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is distributing whistles to business owners this week to alert others if a crime is occurring.