3 Accused Of Dozens Of Oakland Home Invasions

OAKLAND (CBS 5 / KCBS / AP) ― Three people described by police as “brutal and very intimidating” are facing in charges in connection with at least two-dozen home invasion robberies in Oakland over a six-month period.

Police Chief Anthony Batts and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said that 24-year-old Romier Simmons of Stockton and 23-year-old Christopher Malbrough of Hayward were charged Thursday with 132 counts, including robbery, gun possession and assault during last year’s crime spree.

A woman described by authorities as Malbrough’s girlfriend, 21-year-old Kyra Bayless of Milpitas, has also been charged in the case.

“These people were terrorizing our city,” said Batts.

Although all three suspects live outside Oakland, police said Simmons and Malbrough were born and raised in Oakland and know the city well.

“It appears that the suspects were driving through Oakland and spotted victims of opportunity,” said Sgt. Randy Wingate, who led the investigation.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Police indicated that most of the alleged victims were Asian and Hispanic immigrants who don’t speak English well. The suspects are accused of cruising neighborhoods, waiting until residents came home, and then following them inside to terrorize and rob them.

“There’s nothing more terrorizing than being at home and having someone kick in the door and sticking a gun in your face,” Batts said.

Simmons and Malbrough are also accused of threatening a 2-year-old with a gun during one of the incidents.

The victims’ ages in the crime spree ranged from 2 to 69, police said.

The robberies, which began last March, occurred from the Lake Merritt area to High Street. Investigators said the total amount of cash and other items that were stolen easily exceeds $100,000.

Simmons and Malbrough were being held on $5 million bail and are due in court on Feb. 18. Bail amount and a court date for Bayless was not known.

The suspects could face up to 500 years in state prison if convicted on all counts. Two of them have prior criminal records, authorities said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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