SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) — Oakland police are seeing more children, as young as 10 years old, committing serious crimes.
Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said he’s working with the Alameda County Probation Department and councilmembers to find alternative programs to help steer juveniles in the right direction.READ MORE: COVID: Health Experts Believe 'Herd Immunity' Exists In Pockets Of San Francisco Bay Area
“Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in youth crime,” he said. “We’ve seen a series of robberies, thefts, as well as carjackings, that we believe that young people as young as 10 years old being involved.”
One of these recent crimes was caught on residential video on April 9th. It shows two children, one of them armed with a gun, run up to a man standing by his car on the 300 block of Pershing Drive.
The victim can be heard saying ‘are you serious?’ before he body slams the young man.
The move sent the suspect’s gun into the street.
The suspect can be heard screaming, while his partner begs the victim to let him go.READ MORE: Two Die In East Oakland Sunday Night Shooting
San Leandro police say the suspects took off in a small white Kia SUV, which was used earlier in the day in another crime.
A trio of juveniles tried to rob a man that had just taken out cash from the ATM at a Chase Bank on Fairmont Drive. The victim claimed to be an off-duty police officer, and successfully scared off the suspects, according to police.
“We know that the pandemic is having a tremendous impact on young people,” Armstrong said. “They don’t have extracurricular activities. They don’t have school, so we know that they’re being impacted. So we just want to make sure that we give them some positive outlets.”
A few days after the attempted carjacking, Oakland Police arrested three young suspects inside the same getaway car for their involvement in an armed robbery. The juveniles were released to their guardians.
But three days later, San Leandro Police arrested an 11-year-old, 12-year-old, and two 14-years-olds involved in a carjacking on Begier Avenue. Two of those suspects were involved in the Pershing Drive and Chase Bank cases.MORE NEWS: Steph Curry, Draymond Green Ready For Play-In Game; Warriors To Take On Lakers Wednesday Night
Armstrong added that the hope is that as schools and recreation centers reopen, and as youth sports resume, they will help serve as deterrents.