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Crime Blotter: Young Robbery Suspect Charged, Home Depot Robbed, Wild Car Chase

A snapshot of the week in crime and police work.

Suspected adolescent bank robber charged as adult. The 16-year-old arrested in a string of bank robberies in San Leandro and Oakland was charged as an adult at the Hayward Hall of Justice last Friday, according to Robert McManus, a spokesperson for the San Leandro Police Department.

The youth, who attends school in Oakland but has been living in San Leandro, was charged with three counts of bank robbery, including that of Bank of the West on June 8 and on June 1. He was also charged with three counts of attempted bank robbery.

Germaine Ramsey, 43, of Oakland was also arrested in connection with the Bank of the West robbery and the attempted June 8 Chase Bank robbery.

A third person, 20-year-old Jovonnie Moore from Oakland, was arrested on Thursday, June 9, on probable cause that he was involved in the Bank of the West robbery, McManus said. Moore is a cousin of the 16-year-old, whose name is being withheld because of his age. Moore entered Bank of the West and asked about opening an account about three minutes before the youth entered to rob the bank, McManus said.

As of June 14, the district attorney's office had yet to file charges against Moore in connection with the robbery. He is on parole for bank robbery and was being held for violating his parole, police said.

Steering wheel lock as weapon. An employee of the Home Depot on Davis Street was greeted with an unwelcome surprise as she was preparing to open the store early Sunday morning, June 12. She was bringing cash from the vault to the register area when a masked man armed with a Club steering wheel lock confronted her inside the store, police said.

The man struck the employee in the legs with the lock, took an undisclosed amount of money and fled out a back door of the business, according to the police report. The suspect may have already been inside the store when the employee arrived, police said. The employee was not taken to the hospital.

Long car chase ends in crash on Caltrans property. On June 8 shortly before 9 p.m., San Leandro Police officers from the Tactical Anti Crime Unit (TAC) were patrolling the area of Durant Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard in an unmarked vehicle when they heard extremely loud music coming from a vehicle, according to police.

They spotted the vehicle, a 1990s-model GMC Safari van, approaching them as it headed south on MacArthur Boulevard. The officers suspected a California Vehicle Code infraction — 27007, which prohibits drivers from playing music that can be heard from a distance of 50 feet or more — so they turned on their lights and sirens to pull the van over.

The driver slowed the vehicle down to 10 mph but continued driving, according to police. Finally, he pulled the van over near the corner of Superior Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard. As the officers got out of their car and began to approach the van, the driver threw the van into gear and sped off, police said.

A chase ensued eastbound on I-580, during which the van weaved in and out of traffic at 80 to 90 mph, causing other drivers to slam on their brakes to avoid collision, police said. The van exited at 164th Avenue, where another San Leandro Police patrol car joined in the pursuit.

The van then jumped the median to get back on eastbound I-580, led police onto Highway 238, exited onto East 14th Street and led police on a chase through residential neighborhoods in the unincorporated area, according to the report. Eventually, the van turned into the Caltrans lot off Springlake Drive, ramming a chain link fence repeatedly in order to break it and get into the lot, police reported.

When the van disappeared behind a building, the officers waited, knowing the van had no way out, police said. Suddenly the van emerged from behind the building, officers said, and launched over a curb in the direction of the Highway 238 on-ramp.

The move disabled the van, and the driver and two passengers got out of the car and fled on foot, police said. Officers apprehended and arrested all three suspects.

The driver, Joshua Rogers, 23, from Hayward, has been charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's office with felony evasion of police and with resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license and vandalism to the Caltrans lot, according to Sgt. McManus. Police suspect he may have been driving under the influence of a controlled substance, not alcohol, but are still awaiting test results, McManus said.

The district attorney's office did not charge the two passengers in the vehicle with any crime, McManus said.

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