Victims were tied up, dragged during violent East Bay home invasions, prosecutor says

Bay Area

LAFAYETTE (KRON) — Four suspects have been arrested in connection to violent home invasions in Lafayette, Benicia and Oakland — and on Tuesday, two of those suspects were charged with more than two dozen crimes.

One of those two suspects is a former basketball player at Vallejo High School.

Two of these home invasions happened in Lafayette, one in Benicia and one in Oakland.  

The suspects were busted in Fairfield, days after trying to sell stolen items.

Twenty-two-year-old Joseph Wells and 20-year-old Adama Diop of Fairfield have both been charged with more than two dozen crimes connected to the home invasion robberies.  

You may recognize Diop who, at 6-foot-7-inches tall, is a former Vallejo High School basketball player.  

Right now, both are behind bars and those with the district attorney’s office describe the details of what they did as disturbing, saying that the gear they used during the robberies was found in a bag in a Fairfield home.

“All of the victims were zip tied and then duct taped — both their wrists and their ankles. Their eyes were covered. Two were pistol whipped in the head,” said Mary Knox, a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County. 

She said all the victims were either dragged or carried into separate rooms inside their homes during the robbery.

Investigators say the victim’s debit cards were used at ATM’s shortly after each robbery.  

Prosecutors say Wells and Diop had a notebook that had detailed pre-planning of the wealthier areas they targeted, the banks they were planning to go to and the types of people they’d go after.  

They didn’t just go after debit cards.

During the suspects’ arrests, investigators found masks and duct tape.

“It included all the masks they had been wearing during the burglaries,” Knox said. “They would routinely put items over the heads of the victims so that they couldn’t see them. It included duct tape, zip ties, walkie talkies, flashlights. All items that have been used in all the robberies.”

Police also recovered five firearms stolen during the home invasions. 

“It’s a tremendous public safety thing that we were able to actually recover the guns and return them,” she said. 

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