Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 30, 2011

Union 76 station on First Street robbed

Second gas station holdup in six weeks

The Union 76 gas station located at 4191 First Street, at the corner of First and Ray streets, was robbed Sept. 23 by a man who pointed a black semi-automatic handgun at the lone attendant and demanded cash.

After taking an estimated $400 cash and $60 worth of cigarettes and cigars, the gunman fled toward Vineyard Avenue carrying a gray pinstriped backpack.

The gas station attendant immediately called police but Lieutenant Jim Knox said officers checked the area for the robber but were unable to locate him.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned male, possibly Caucasian or Hispanic, in his early twenties, 5'-7" to 5'-9" tall, 140 pounds, wearing a dark-colored long sleeve shirt covered by a white T-shirt, dark-colored basketball type shorts with white stripes down the side, black shoes, white socks and a black beanie.

The male's face was covered with a black bandana. He also was wearing a thin gold chain on his neck.

It's the fifth robbery in Pleasanton since what police described as a "takeover" holdup at Union Bank last December, and the second on First Street in the last six weeks, when the Shell station in the 4200 block was robbed by a man believed to have used a toy pistol.

Walmart was held up by a woman who handed a note to a customer service worker in February, and Sweet Tomatoes was robbed by a pair of men wearing bandanas in June. That's not counting an Aug. 4 robbery at a bank in San Ramon and a number of robberies that were apparent disputes between residents, such as a recent incident when a man demanded pizza from another man and walked off with the victim's cell phone on top of the box.

It's also the second major crime at the Union 76 over the last few months; in May, an ATM was stolen from the station.

Despite what may look like a crime wave, robberies are actually down year over year, according to Pleasanton Lt. Jeff Bretzing.

"We're actually showing a 14% reduction in robberies from the same time last year," Bretzing said. He said through August of last year, Pleasanton had seen 14 robberies, with 12 this year. Bretzing noted that robberies, like many crimes, may spike at different times of the year.

Anyone with information regarding the Union 76 holdup or who might have witnessed something in the area that might be of assistance are urged to contact the Pleasanton Police Department at 931-5100.

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