SWAT team prepares to go inside CVS in search of robbery suspect
on March 9, 2012
A SWAT team is preparing to search inside the CVS drugstore at Pleasant Valley Avenue and Broadway in the hunt for a suspect who attempted to rob the store early Friday morning.
As of 10 am, the parking lot surrounding the store was roped off with yellow police tape as the SWAT team van arrived. Six to 12 other squad cars were visible in the lot as well.
Oakland Police Department spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson said that the OPD received a call at 6:40 am reporting a possible robbery suspect inside the store prior to the business opening. According to employees, she said, a man wearing a ski mask walked into the store and asked to see the manager. The employees immediately left the store, and it is not known whether the man is still inside, she said.
It is not known if the man had a gun, Watson said, although employees reported that they had not seen one when he entered the store. But, Watson said as the SWAT team arrived, “We’re prepared for the person inside to be armed and dangerous and have the intent to commit a crime.”
The search inside the store could take about an hour, Watson said.
The man is described as an African American male wearing a black or dark blue zip up jacket, black pants, and carrying a black backpack. Witnesses described him as between 5’6″ and 5’8″ tall and weighing approximately 140 pounds.
Pleasant Valley Avenue (which becomes 51st Street) is currently closed between Broadway and Piedmont Avenue.
Update 12:20 pm: According to a police officer at the scene, the SWAT team did not find anyone inside the store, and most of the police left the area at 11:15 am.
The streets surrounding the store and the parking lot have been re-opened, and the store is expected to re-open shortly.
Update 4:30 pm: The OPD has released store surveillance photos of the masked man and is asking for the public’s help in identifying him.
Oakland North will continue to update this story.
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