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Fingers Crossed: Police Say Local Gang Violence Is Relatively Restrained

Key members of San Leandro's two home-grown gangs have been brought to justice, which helps keep violence down, police say in response to community questions.

San Leandro's two main gangs, the Davis Street Locos and the Marina Dro Boys, have been relatively quiet of late, said the police detective who investigates gang-related crimes.

"I don't want to jinx myself but the level of violence I've seen in the last several years has declined," said  San Leandro Police detective Neil Goodman.

"As far as property crimes and vandalism, that ebbs and flows," he added.

When police take questions from the public as they have in the ongoing Coffee with Cops series, residents often ask about gang activity.

The question arose at a November 8 Coffee with Cops gathering at the Marina Inn and at the previous October 11 meeting at Dick's Restaurant.

Goodman said the city's oldest gang is the Davis Street Locos. They range from downtown west and then south to roughly Marina Boulevard.

The second gang, the Manor Dro Boys, range from Marina Boulevard south and are again based in the west side of town, Goodman said. 

Both gangs are primarily but not exclusively Hispanic.

Their primary out-of-town rival is another Hispanic gang called the Border Brothers that is based in East Oakland, Goodman said.

"Gangs do not stick to a territory," Goodman said. "They may come here to shop or use a movie theater. We may see Union City or Oakland gangs."

The city is not free of gang-related crime.

"We have everything ranging from vandalism to shootings where they (gang members) were suspects or victims of shootings," Goodman said.

But Goodman said he has not investigated a gang-related death in the last few years. He said gang-related violent crime in San Leandro seems to be at a low ebb, in part because key members of both local gangs have been jailed or otherwise entered the criminal justice system.

"That tends to dampen activity," he said.

Goodman was not at the November 8 Coffee with Cops when the gang question arose but was interviewed afterwards.

He did attend the October 11 meeting and addressed the issue then. That event was videotaped and can be seen on the San Leandro Bytes website.

(The next Coffee with Cops event will be Tuesday, Dec. 13, from 8-9 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 510 Lewelling Blvd.)

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