News

Pleasanton couple shaken after armed robbery, praise police for 'job well done' in quick investigation

Adult defendants arraigned on second-degree robbery, firearm charges

A Pleasanton couple are recovering and searching for answers after they were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight outside of their house on Saturday.

The husband and wife told the Weekly on Tuesday that they don't know why they were targeted by armed teenagers seconds after pulling into their driveway following an afternoon shopping trip, leaving the Asian American couple bruised and their neighborhood "frightened."

"We really want to find out why ... Because we were Asian? Did they follow us home?" she said. "And how can we prevent this sort of thing from happening?"

"Pleasanton always seemed to be a safe city," he added. "We never thought this kind of thing could happen here."

The couple spoke to the Weekly on condition of anonymity for privacy reasons as victims of a serious crime.

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They also praised police for making quick work of the initial investigation, arresting three teenagers for the crime that day after the stolen credit cards were used in nearby San Ramon.

"We would like to thank Pleasanton and the San Ramon Police Department for a job well done, for catching the robbers in only a couple of hours," the husband said.

Pleasanton police Sgt. Marty Billdt said officers are still investigating the circumstances of why the couple were targeted, but as of Tuesday, "There was no indication this crime was racially motivated."

Charged in the April 10 armed robbery are Michael Walker III (left) and Raymond Davis III (right). A third person, a 17-year-old boy whose name was not released, was also arrested in the case. (Photos courtesy of PPD)

The two adult arrestees -- Michael Walker III, 19, of Richmond; and Raymond Davis III, 18, of San Pablo -- have been arraigned in court on counts of second-degree robbery and firearm-related charges. The case status against the 17-year-old boy who was also arrested remains unconfirmed because it is a juvenile case, but the initial investigation indicates he was one of the robbers in the driveway and not the getaway driver, according to police.

It is unclear whether Walker, Davis and the juvenile are represented by attorneys.

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The situation unfolded around 1 p.m. Saturday when the couple pulled into their driveway in a neighborhood near Ken Mercer Sports Park after a shopping trip.

The couple told police that an unidentified Black man dressed in dark clothing opened the driver's door and threatened the husband with a gun, demanding his wallet, while another Black male grabbed the wife by the arm as she stood outside the back passenger seat to unload the shopping bags, according to a probable cause statement written by Officer Rudy Granados.

The robbers stole the husband's wallet (including cash, credit cards and his COVID-19 vaccination card), the wife's smartwatch and jacket, and their shopping bags, according to Granados. During the encounter, the man's leg was injured after his foot slipped off the brake and the car rolled forward.

The robbers ran toward a nearby vehicle, which had a getaway driver, and then fled the scene. Shortly after the crime, the husband's credit cards were used at Target in San Ramon, resulting in fraud alerts via the victim's accounts, according to the officer.

San Ramon police officers soon obtained surveillance footage of the suspects, and the victims were able to identify two of the individuals as the culprits who attacked them, according to Granados. SRPD officers located the vehicle in question on Bollinger Canyon Road just after 2:30 p.m. and detained the three teenage occupants.

Granados reported they found the victims' wallet, credit cards, jacket, watch, vaccination card and other items inside the vehicle, along with a firearm in plain view that was fully loaded and had serial numbers partially scratched out.

The three occupants were placed under arrest and booked into custody. Investigators allege Walker was the armed suspect, the 17-year-old was the other robber in the driveway and Davis was the getaway driver.

The two adults have been charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. Details about the 17-year-old case have not been revealed due to his age.

Billdt told the Weekly on Monday that there was no evidence one way or the other at this point as to why the victims were targeted, including whether they had been followed home from the store.

"We don't know," the husband said. "We really want to find out from the police ... how they picked us as a target."

He praised the police officers' "courtesy and professionalism," as well as the thorough initial investigation and arrests, for making "a difficult thing a little bit easier." The couple cited strong support from their neighbors as well.

They also said they hope to work with their community, police or the city to find solutions to deter such serious crimes near their home, describing possible options like a dedicated neighborhood watch group, speed bumps to slow quick getaways or gating off Sports Park lots after dark.

"I feel we need to do more to keep the community safe," he said. "We all need to work together to solve these sort of problems in the future."

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Pleasanton couple shaken after armed robbery, praise police for 'job well done' in quick investigation

Adult defendants arraigned on second-degree robbery, firearm charges

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Apr 13, 2021, 8:06 pm

A Pleasanton couple are recovering and searching for answers after they were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight outside of their house on Saturday.

The husband and wife told the Weekly on Tuesday that they don't know why they were targeted by armed teenagers seconds after pulling into their driveway following an afternoon shopping trip, leaving the Asian American couple bruised and their neighborhood "frightened."

"We really want to find out why ... Because we were Asian? Did they follow us home?" she said. "And how can we prevent this sort of thing from happening?"

"Pleasanton always seemed to be a safe city," he added. "We never thought this kind of thing could happen here."

The couple spoke to the Weekly on condition of anonymity for privacy reasons as victims of a serious crime.

They also praised police for making quick work of the initial investigation, arresting three teenagers for the crime that day after the stolen credit cards were used in nearby San Ramon.

"We would like to thank Pleasanton and the San Ramon Police Department for a job well done, for catching the robbers in only a couple of hours," the husband said.

Pleasanton police Sgt. Marty Billdt said officers are still investigating the circumstances of why the couple were targeted, but as of Tuesday, "There was no indication this crime was racially motivated."

The two adult arrestees -- Michael Walker III, 19, of Richmond; and Raymond Davis III, 18, of San Pablo -- have been arraigned in court on counts of second-degree robbery and firearm-related charges. The case status against the 17-year-old boy who was also arrested remains unconfirmed because it is a juvenile case, but the initial investigation indicates he was one of the robbers in the driveway and not the getaway driver, according to police.

It is unclear whether Walker, Davis and the juvenile are represented by attorneys.

The situation unfolded around 1 p.m. Saturday when the couple pulled into their driveway in a neighborhood near Ken Mercer Sports Park after a shopping trip.

The couple told police that an unidentified Black man dressed in dark clothing opened the driver's door and threatened the husband with a gun, demanding his wallet, while another Black male grabbed the wife by the arm as she stood outside the back passenger seat to unload the shopping bags, according to a probable cause statement written by Officer Rudy Granados.

The robbers stole the husband's wallet (including cash, credit cards and his COVID-19 vaccination card), the wife's smartwatch and jacket, and their shopping bags, according to Granados. During the encounter, the man's leg was injured after his foot slipped off the brake and the car rolled forward.

The robbers ran toward a nearby vehicle, which had a getaway driver, and then fled the scene. Shortly after the crime, the husband's credit cards were used at Target in San Ramon, resulting in fraud alerts via the victim's accounts, according to the officer.

San Ramon police officers soon obtained surveillance footage of the suspects, and the victims were able to identify two of the individuals as the culprits who attacked them, according to Granados. SRPD officers located the vehicle in question on Bollinger Canyon Road just after 2:30 p.m. and detained the three teenage occupants.

Granados reported they found the victims' wallet, credit cards, jacket, watch, vaccination card and other items inside the vehicle, along with a firearm in plain view that was fully loaded and had serial numbers partially scratched out.

The three occupants were placed under arrest and booked into custody. Investigators allege Walker was the armed suspect, the 17-year-old was the other robber in the driveway and Davis was the getaway driver.

The two adults have been charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. Details about the 17-year-old case have not been revealed due to his age.

Billdt told the Weekly on Monday that there was no evidence one way or the other at this point as to why the victims were targeted, including whether they had been followed home from the store.

"We don't know," the husband said. "We really want to find out from the police ... how they picked us as a target."

He praised the police officers' "courtesy and professionalism," as well as the thorough initial investigation and arrests, for making "a difficult thing a little bit easier." The couple cited strong support from their neighbors as well.

They also said they hope to work with their community, police or the city to find solutions to deter such serious crimes near their home, describing possible options like a dedicated neighborhood watch group, speed bumps to slow quick getaways or gating off Sports Park lots after dark.

"I feel we need to do more to keep the community safe," he said. "We all need to work together to solve these sort of problems in the future."

Comments

José Jiménez
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Apr 13, 2021 at 9:42 pm
José Jiménez, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Apr 13, 2021 at 9:42 pm

Gina (Publisher)-
Thank you for your honest and incredibly responsive reporting !!!!
I appreciate your professionalism.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 13, 2021 at 10:26 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Apr 13, 2021 at 10:26 pm

So I assume they will be charged as adults for a hate crime?


José Jiménez
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Apr 13, 2021 at 11:35 pm
José Jiménez, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Apr 13, 2021 at 11:35 pm

Let’s hope they are charged with a hate crime and that the 17-year-old juvenile is prosecuted as an adult. If you don’t play “hardball” with hate crimes/criminals you will never stop them......
One of my Chinese-American friends was recently walking on the sidewalk in San Francisco when an African-American mother and her young son walked by in the opposite direction...After they passed one another the young child turned back and kicked her in the leg… The mother said nothing....


Errol Stewart
Registered user
another community
on Apr 15, 2021 at 3:53 am
Errol Stewart, another community
Registered user
on Apr 15, 2021 at 3:53 am

This story was very clear. There was no known cause for the victims being chosen as targets. In fact it was mentioned more than once that they didn't know why the suspects targeted the victims. Yet I see at least two comments requesting or hoping that the suspects be charged with a hate crime. Do you have any reason for asking for this serious enhancement to be brought against the suspects? Do you have any facts which would cause you to raise a very public outcry for hate crime enhancements to be added to they're list of felonies? If all you have is the information within this article, then the answer is no, you don't have any reason to ask for that. And if you ask me, you are the ones displaying the hate. Yes, they committed a robbery and I'm by no means condoning that behavior. But when citizens cry out for the justice system to employ basically racially based laws meant to protect the victims in a situation where theres no proof of any racism or hate crime being committed, then suddenly you all sound as though you're the ones whom have racially based hate within you, and that's a hypocrisy i find totally unacceptable and all too prevalent these days. Shame on you.


Frank Lynn
Registered user
Valley Trails
on Apr 15, 2021 at 9:43 am
Frank Lynn, Valley Trails
Registered user
on Apr 15, 2021 at 9:43 am

Hate crime laws exist and stand as legal because according to Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, hate crimes are "thought to inflict greater individual and societal harm.... bias-motivated crimes are more likely to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest." This should be the means test of whether something is charged as a hate crime, not whether racial epithets were used during the crime or if anti-Asian Covid comments were made.

Asians and specifically Asian immigrants have recently seen a spike in crimes against them. In the Asian immigrant community, many carry large sums of cash and don't report crimes. So it makes them a target for criminals by virtue of their race and/or immigration status or perceived immigration status.

I think most rational people can agree that this trend of crimes against Asians is inflicting greater societal harm. And I think most rational people would agree that being robbed at gunpoint and watching your wife get roughed up in front of your own home has inflicted distinct emotional harm on these victims. And if robbing someone at gunpoint in front of their home in broad daylight is not causing us unrest as a community - then there's something deeply wrong with us as a community.

I've seen comments and heard people say, "They stole groceries, maybe they were hungry." Well, if they had gas money to travel here from San Pablo and to purchase a gun - they had money for food.

I'm sorry, but the bleeding-heart criminal coddling mindset is part of the problem that puts the life of my Asian immigrant wife in danger. That's why I'd like to see this charged as a hate crime.


José Jiménez
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Apr 15, 2021 at 10:23 am
José Jiménez, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Apr 15, 2021 at 10:23 am

Here’s the law-
“California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 422.55 :
For purposes of this title, and for purposes of all other state law unless an explicit provision of law or the context clearly requires a different meaning, the following shall apply:
(a) “Hate crime” means a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim:
(1) Disability.
(2) Gender.
(3) Nationality.
(4) Race or ethnicity.
(5) Religion.
(6) Sexual orientation”

So the African-American teenagers who committed armed robbery and assault may have had a smile on their face (and no hate in their heart) but when they “targeted“ their victims because they were Asian they committed a hate crime!

Errol states: “There was no known cause for the victims being chosen as targets.“.
Really ??? You must be joking…But it’s not funny.
If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - It’s a duck!


dknute
Registered user
Golden Eagle
on Apr 15, 2021 at 6:49 pm
dknute, Golden Eagle
Registered user
on Apr 15, 2021 at 6:49 pm

Maybe just let the police do the job. It appears to have been done well so far.


Monday
Registered user
Vineyard Hills
on Apr 15, 2021 at 7:23 pm
Monday, Vineyard Hills
Registered user
on Apr 15, 2021 at 7:23 pm

The article notes, "but as of Tuesday, "There was no indication this crime was racially motivated."

So, that was as of Tuesday. If and when the police view the supermarket's parking lot and other footage and maybe discuss with any witnesses, they will know more. Let them do their job.

My cousin was followed for about 6 miles in Alameda, as she was driving home during day-time hours. I don't know how she lost them, but luckily she did.


Mr. Julius
Registered user
Downtown
on Apr 16, 2021 at 9:29 am
Mr. Julius, Downtown
Registered user
on Apr 16, 2021 at 9:29 am

Errol wants a reason for why hate crime enhancements should be considered. Consider the recent rash of dozens or hundreds of violent hate crimes committed against Asian Americans, a disproportionate number by African Americans.


Shirley
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Apr 17, 2021 at 8:15 pm
Shirley, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Apr 17, 2021 at 8:15 pm

THERE'S NO EVIDENCE THIS WAS A "HATE CRIME". It's incredible how all the posters here want to immediately jump on the race card. 100s of people, if not 1000s, get robbed in CA every day. Just because the victim is not white, doesn't mean it's a hate crime, or that they were targeted for their race. These young robbers saw opportunity, that's all. Shopping bags, nice jacket and clothes, a Mercedes Benz and a Gucci purse? That's all they see. They care less about race. They want money. Stop being so quick to jump on the race card, people. It was a robbery, like 1000s of others that happen every day in the US. I live in an affluent neighborhood and I've had neighbors houses robbed. Where those hate crimes too??? NO!!! THEY WERE ROBBERIES!!!!! PERIOD. Enough of the poor victim, identity politics, race mongering. You people are fabricating "hate crimes" where they are not. This race baiting bologna has gotten crazy in 2020+ Enough. It was a robbery. You looked wealthy. A crime of opportunity. Period. Don't flash your money, shopping bags, fancy cars, etc... and pay attention to who's around you. Doesn't matter what your race is. And side note, the man in Oakland who pushed the 91 yr old Asian man? You all saw it on the news? THAT WAS NOT A HATE CRIME!!!!! The attacker is well known by police and has assaulted dozens of people over the years, of all different races. Again, you, the lying news media, moronic Asian celebrities who blindly jump on the bandwagon, are fabricating this AAPI hate bologna. Is there racism?? Yes, of course but, it's not as prevalent as you all want it to be and are making it up to be. The shooting in GA? Was a sex crime. They guy was a sex addict. IT WAS NOT AAPI HATE, AS THE LYING NEWS PUSHED IT TO BE. STOP JUMPING IMMEDIATELY ON THE RACE CARD!!!! That's actually rarely the reason.


Frank Lynn
Registered user
Valley Trails
on Apr 17, 2021 at 8:52 pm
Frank Lynn, Valley Trails
Registered user
on Apr 17, 2021 at 8:52 pm

Shirley-I think in this case the only bags the victims were “flashing” were grocery bags. I guess if they were Whole Foods bags, that could be considered an excessive display of wealth. But it sounds like you’re saying how dare Asian people expect to have nice things and think that outside their own home in Pleasanton be free from crime. I guess if they’d just don the peasant clothes from their “country of origin” and stop complaining about race-based attacks, you’d be a lot happier, wouldn’t you?


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Apr 18, 2021 at 8:56 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Apr 18, 2021 at 8:56 am

Isn’t it possible these people were followed, and THEN it became a hate crime when the robbers saw who they had?


John
Registered user
Birdland
on Apr 18, 2021 at 9:18 am
John, Birdland
Registered user
on Apr 18, 2021 at 9:18 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Apr 18, 2021 at 9:25 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Apr 18, 2021 at 9:25 am

John, Just wondering how you are so certain. “(Officer) Billdt told the Weekly on Monday that there was no evidence one way or the other at this point as to why the victims were targeted, including whether they had been followed home from the store.”


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