It was business as usual Wednesday at the Safeway at 555 Bancroft Avenue where, the night before, five gunmen had invaded the store, ordered patrons and employees to hit the deck and cleaned out the till.
"I was there shopping in the back of the store at the time," San Leandro resident Leah Hall told Patch. "I didn't see or hear much, but I did drop to the ground and pray with a few other shoppers and staff members."
It was a quick but terrifying experience.
"Some of us ran to the stock room and hid in a (computer) office," Hall recalled. "The young manager called 911 on her cell phone. The police arrived about 3-5 minutes later and took reports."
Patrons like Hall who had been in the back of the store and didn't see much were allowed to leave. But even those in the front where the robbers cleaned out two cash registers could see very little.
That's because the gunmen wore hoodies and masks. Witnesses say they ran out of the store heading north. The police have released no information about any getaway vehicle that may have been used.
Getting caught up in the Safeway robbery is not Hall's only brush with crime in San Leandro. "We've had 4 robberies in the last 2.5 years, and that is only our house," she lamented, adding, "What is this neighborhood coming to?"
Concerned about crime? Citizens For a Safer San Leandro has helped organize a forum on community policing on Tuesday, October, 2, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Senior Community Center, 13909 East 14th Street. The San Leandro Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit will be on hand to discuss how citizens can help make law enforcement more effective.