Armed robbers invaded two Piedmont homes today, Monday, in separate incidents, holding residents at gunpoint while ransacking the homes.
Interim Piedmont Policee chief Scott Wyatt said in a press release that the first robbery took place in the 100 block of Estate Drive shortly after 6 a.m. and the second across town on Arroyo Avenue, near York, before 7 a.m.
On Estates Drive, three tall black male adults — two of them armed — kicked in the front door of the home, confronted two residents and forced them to lie on the floor during the robbery, Wyatt said.
On Arroyo, a group of three to five black male adults kicked in the front door of the home, Wyatt said. Inside, one adult resident was confronted by a suspect who was armed with a hand gun. This resident screamed and was punched by the suspect, and forced to the floor.
Another suspect was armed with a short-barreled rifle or shotgun, and a third robber locked the other resident in the basement when he tried to come upstairs to assist. That resident escaped from the basement and called police from a neighbor's home, Wyatt said.
Apparently alerted by a female accomplice in an SUV parked outside the home, the robbers fled. When a resident attempted to follow, one of the robbers fired a shot that passed through the glass of a front window of the residence before exiting through a rear window, Wyatt said.
The complete press release follows:
On Monday, January 21, 2013 at 6:12 a.m., Piedmont Police received a report that unknown person(s) rang the doorbell of a home in the 100 block of Estates Drive at about 6 a.m. There was no description of the person(s).
At 6:20 a.m., Piedmont Police received a report that three tall black male adults, in their early to mid-20’s, wearing dark clothing and bandanas over their faces had kicked in the front door of another home in the 100 block of Estates Drive.
One suspect with a short barreled rifle or shotgun confronted one resident in the home. Another suspect with a semi-auto handgun confronted the other resident.
Both residents were told to “lay down” while the suspects ransacked the home.
Suspects looked for and asked about money, which was not available. Suspects took change, a computer monitor and a small jewelry box.
Oakland Police officers were contacted in the Estates Drive area who advised Piedmont officers that they were searching for subjects fitting the description of the robbery suspects because of a suspicious persons call in Oakland near the Piedmont border.
At 6:53 a.m., while officers were still investigating the home invasion robbery on Estates Drive, Piedmont Police received a report from a resident in the unit block of Arroyo Ave., which is on the opposite side of Piedmont from Estates Drive, that three to five black male adults in their early to mid-20’s had kicked in the front door of the residence.
Most suspects were described as thin, one as heavy set.
One adult resident was confronted by a suspect who was armed with a hand gun. This resident screamed and was punched by the suspect, and forced to the floor.
One additional suspect was armed with a short barreled rifle or shotgun.
Another suspect locked the other resident in the basement when he tried to come upstairs to assist.
The suspects ransacked the home, attempting to take computer and video equipment. They attempted to remove a safe.
The other victim escaped the basement and went to a neighbor to call the police.
A black female adult suspect waiting in a silver or gray, newer-style full-size SUV, similar to a Suburban with left front damage, apparently called the suspects in the home by cell phone.
The suspects fled the home. When the first victim tried to follow, a suspect fired a shot toward the residence. This shot passed through the glass of a front window of the residence before exiting through a rear window to the outside.
These types of crimes are on the rise in nearby communities. Piedmont Police are working cooperatively with robbery investigators from throughout Alameda County.
Residents are encouraged to check the quality of their door and window locks, ensure they have ample motion sensor lighting on their homes, consider an alarm system, and to report suspicious activities to the police, immediately.
If all of this fails to discourage criminals and you are the victim of an armed crime, do not risk the safety of yourself or your family members. When the criminals have left the area, immediately phone 9-1-1 to request assistance.
If you have any information that may help investigators identify these suspects or if you would like to sponsor a neighborhood watch meeting to help keep residents informed and involved, please call Detective George Phifer at (510) 420-3013.
Don't miss a day of Piedmont news, opinion and events. Sign up for the Piedmont Patch e-newsletter here.