Six Arrested In String of East Bay Armed Robberies

CONCORD (CBS SF) – Six suspects have been taken in custody in a series of East Bay home invasion robberies and may be connected to the brutal attack of an Orinda couple as they unloaded groceries at their home last week.

Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Barry Grove confirmed the arrests and the suspects’ connection to armed robberies in Livermore, Fremont and Danville.

Other similar crimes including the Orinda case and robberies in Pittsburgh and Antioch were also under investigation.

“We are aware of Orinda. We’ve been investigating Orinda,” Grove said. “The investigation continues. The things that we have found in the current cases and arrest we have made are helpful that (Orinda) investigation.”

The East Bay Times reported that all of the robberies had some similar circumstances.

They all involved two armed men who approached their victims in their driveways after they had arrived home.

In two of the cases, witnesses have told police, the men drove off in a white sedan.

“We’re looking at (all the cases) to see if they’re related,” Antioch police Sgt. Tom Fuhrman told the paper. “They all came in pretty close relative in time to each other.”

In the Orinda robbery, Orinda Unified School District board vice president Carol Brown was shot and her husband, Tom Spalding, was pistol-whipped.

The couple had just arrived at their home in the first block of Claremont Avenue in the hills just after 9 p.m. on the night of Sept. 26th after picking up some groceries at the nearby Safeway, according to Orinda police Chief Mark Nagel.

They were unloading their groceries when they were approached by two male suspects both wearing masks.

They asked for Spalding’s wallet and then pistol-whipped him. Spalding fled to the front door of the home to get inside and call 911. As he got to the porch he heard gunshots.

“Carol still thought it was a joke and was fighting to keep her purse. When I saw the guns I realized it was not anybody’s joke,” Spalding explained Monday.

Brown was shot twice in the shoulder and pelvis. She was taken by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center and is recovering from her wounds.


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