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Search for suspected burglar in West Oakland home comes up empty

on September 13, 2012

Reports that an armed man had broken into a West Oakland home early Thursday morning prompted an an all-day search for him, but by late afternoon police officers at the scene said he had not been found inside the home.

Oakland Police Department spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson said police responded to a tripped burglar alarm on the 1400 block of 12th Street in West Oakland at around 9:30 am. Witnesses said the suspect broke into the single family home, which is on a residential street near a park. The family that lives in the home is safe, Watson said.

Some people standing near the scene said they had heard gunfire earlier this afternoon, but Watson said the noises were caused by beanbag rounds fired by the police outside the home as a distraction strategy sometime between 2:30 and 3 pm.

Police entered the home late Thursday afternoon to search for the man, but by 4:45 Watson announced that they did not find him in the home. A SWAT team and a hostage negotiations team were also called to the scene, but there was no hostage situation, Watson said.

Police initially cordoned off Kirkham Street to Center Street and 11th Street to West Grand Avenue using police cars and police tape. Around 4:30, about a dozen police officers were visible on the street, along with a small crowd of about 25 bystanders. As of 4:55 pm, police officers began to take down tape and traffic began to flow along the streets again.


  1. Shasa B Foster on September 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    If there are witnesses, then they know who it is. These perps don’t travel too far from where they live or where they typically hang out.
    Otherwise, burglar m.o. in that neck of the neighborhood is to break in during the morning hours.
    OK people, if you want progress and accountability, quit being scared of perps by turning them in. Making it hard for po-po and yourselves to get rid of this scum.

  2. Lawrence on September 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I was surprised by this part of the article:

    “police responded to a tripped burglar alarm”

    I thought they had stopped responding to alarms as part of the budget cuts. Was there something special about this house that they decided to respond? Or has this policy changed and I hadn’t heard?

    • Cynthia Gorney on September 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      That is a very good question, Lawrence! Our reporters will see what the police have to say about the way this incident unfolded.

      • D Roberts on September 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

        OPD will respond to panic alarm trips or notification of a distressed resident who had spoken to their alarm dispatch upon said such trip.

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