Four youths arrested in May murder of Oakland gardener
on September 13, 2011
Four young men have been arrested for the May 20 murder of Fruitvale gardener Antonio Torres, Oakland police said Tuesday.
Oakland Police Sergeant Mike Gantt said the four teenagers, all Oakland natives, targeted Torres for the gold chain around his neck and the iPod he was listening to as he worked on a patron’s garden in the 1600 block of 34th Avenue. Gantt said the youths, ages 15, 16, 17 and 19, are also suspects in other burglaries under investigation.
In a press conference at the Oakland Police Department’s Administration Building, Gantt said police received a tip from an informant that the 17-year-old suspect was heard bragging about the shooting. He was found on August 29, detained, and later confessed his involvement in the killing of Torres, Gantt said. The suspect also named the three others as his accomplices, Gantt said, including 19-year-old David Hall, who was arrested on September 8. All four suspects have been charged with murder and are currently in police custody.
Before Torres’ murder, Gantt said, the four suspects had met up near Manzanita Elementary School with the intention to “hunt” for robbery victims. After they robbed and then shot Torres, he said, video images of the suspects were caught on surveillance cameras as they ran away on 34th avenue.
Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan added that they have noticed a rise in the number of gold items being stolen, especially as the per-ounce price of gold has risen, and warned people to be cautious.
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