OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — A bold daytime theft of Caltrans fencing was captured on camera by an East Oakland business owner.
Last Tuesday, Everardo Rodriguez and his son heard hammering across the street from their business, Bay Restorators, in East Oakland. They saw three men hammering away at wrought iron fencing installed by Caltrans around the lot just under Interstate-880.
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“I got a clear view and it’s like, wow, you know, they went at it and it’s like, and as I saw them, I decided to call the cops right then and there,” said Everardo Rodriguez, witness.
A week prior, thieves showed up at night to steal the fencing. In this case, Rodriguez believed Oakland police would be able to stop the theft in action.
Instead, he said surveillance video shows a patrol car pulled up less than 20 minutes after the call, then left after about a minute. During this time, the thieves were feet away and a woman was acting as their lookout.
“Our city leaders have to stop the nonsense. Stop the madness. That’s what I call it. Stop the madness,” said Rodriguez.
Everardo and his son snapped more photos of the thieves carrying the fencing away. That same fencing was put up to prevent past homeless encampment fires.
Caltrans said four panels were stolen, each worth about $400. “Our police are defunded, and we need more police,” said Rodriguez.
Caltrans said fence sections being stolen from them is not new and is common throughout Alameda County. In some cases, Caltrans is welding panels together to make it more difficult for thieves to steal.