OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — A stretch of International Boulevard in Oakland has seen a dramatic spike in crime targeting Hispanic males on what’s been dubbed “Mexican Friday.”
City Councilman Noel Gallo says police in Oakland are reporting a 60-percent increase in robberies along the busiest corridors in his district, with 42 cases between July and October.
Most of the robberies have happened along a stretch of International Boulevard from Fruitvale to High Street near the BART station.
A dramatic robbery was caught on camera where two robbers are seen running up to a car before a brief struggle with an older man. A shot was fired during the struggle that narrowly missed the victim’s head. The robber took the victim’s wallet and fled in that case.
“It’s insanity man. But, that’s what’s happening out on the street,” Gallo told KPIX 5.
Most of the robberies are occurring at the end of the work week.
“Fridays are known as ‘Mexican Friday’ to the thugs and the robbers, because on Friday evenings, it’s when a lot of us get paid in cash,” Gallo said.
Some construction sites in East Oakland have been beefing up security in response to the robberies. Some workers have been arming themselves, and one site even went as far as arming a guard with a shotgun.
“I’m not saying it’s right or that I condone it, but they’re trying to protect their workers and do construction. It’s really sad,” Gallo said.