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Lafayette Police, CHP Officers Track, Capture Three Men Wanted for Attempted Robbery In Lafayette

Lafayette police and CHP officers stopped a car wanted for an attempted robbery in Lafayette at 18th and Brush streets in Oakland and arrested three men. A fourth has eluded custody.

Lafayette police and California Highway Patrol officers pursued a carload of suspected armed robbers from Lafayette to Oakland Saturday - arresting three and mounting a widespread neighborhood search for a fourth.

Witnesses are telling Lamorinda Patch that a carload of four men parked behind the Postino Restaurant in Lafayette and that the men got out of the car and "disappeared."  At 11 a.m. four men, all dressed in dark clothing and at least one armed with a gun, gathered outside Novina Fine Jewelry at 3559 Mt. Diablo Blvd., brandished the gun but fled the area when owner Voytek Konopka hit an alarm.

Bystanders reported seeing the men jump back into the car as police were called, and it was quickly spotted by a patrolling Lafayette police car on westbound Highway 24.

Lafayette police, backed by California Highway Patrol officers, followed the car at speeds of 60 mph plus and eventually effected a traffic stop at 18th and Brush St. in Oakland. Officers immediately detained three men and held them at gunpoint while a fourth managed to get away on foot.

Oakland police and additional agencies are launching a search for the fourth man at this time in the area of 18th and Brush.

Melinda Maginn December 11, 2010 at 11:23 PM
As our economy worsens, unfortunately this kind of crime will likely increase. As Orinda debates how to "revitalize" downtown, they might want to consider the proximity of easy on and off access to Hwy 24.
William H. Thompson December 12, 2010 at 01:01 AM
This is an example of good security precautions, fast police response, and perseverance to an arrest. The owners of Novina deserve praise and, thankfully, they avoided serious injury. The result is also evidence of what willing, fellow-citizen observers can contribute to the apprehension of criminals. Law-abiding citizens are the front-line threat to those who break the law and care nothing about others in doing so. We all need to be doubly vigilant these days, and stand ready to cooperate with law enforcement as they bring such vermin to justice.
Dan Perkins December 13, 2010 at 03:34 PM
I wonder how Judy is enjoying crime free Lafayette... ;-)
Dan Perkins December 13, 2010 at 03:35 PM
Is your argument honestly that they shouldn't make the downtown nicer because it might attract villains?
Melinda Maginn December 13, 2010 at 05:40 PM
My comment regarding revitalizing downtown Orinda has to do with a wish list presented at last workshop. Safety was listed as a primary concern, along with other wishes. There were various suggestions of the kind of businesses some would like to have in the community. Some were large such as Trader Joe's or even Target.
Dan Perkins December 13, 2010 at 05:43 PM
I'm afraid I still don't see how that ties in to this story - is your suggestion that large stores would attract crime?
Melinda Maginn December 13, 2010 at 09:45 PM
My suggestion relates to the wish that Orinda citizens have hilighted...safety. Criminals usually go to places with easy on and off access to highways. The village of Montclair has suffered this kind of crime as well, much more in past few years. The discussion in Orinda is around how retail will help raise revenues. The most recent Retail Study commissioned by Orinda City council and presented at City Council revealed that the tax base increase would be minimal.
Dan Perkins December 13, 2010 at 09:53 PM
So are you suggesting that Orinda remove their on-ramps? I guess my confusion stems from the fact that you seem to be saying that improving the downtown area will somehow lead to an increase in crime and that seems nonsensical to me. "As Orinda debates how to "revitalize" downtown, they might want to consider the proximity of easy on and off access to Hwy 24." - I mean what's to consider? Orinda will continue to sit right on the freeway whether or not the downtown is "revitalized" so what is there to consider?
Tony Rodriguez December 13, 2010 at 10:13 PM
(Hit the wrong key a moment ago.) Criminals won't be able to get parking anyway. Retail-will-make-us-less-safe sounds speculative and not far from bogeyman. Do the concerned citizens have any problem with going to retail spaces in other towns that are near freeway onramps/offramps?
BV December 13, 2010 at 10:22 PM
Where is the comment from Quiet Orinda on this one?
Melinda Maginn December 13, 2010 at 10:30 PM
There are several things to consider as Orinda thinks about their downtown. Indeed we can't change the on and off ramps. The revitalization efforts this year began with a task force who suggested that revenue could be raised by attracting more retail and in order to do so build more housing in the 2 downtown Orinda areas. There was an effort to raise the building height limit from 35 feet to 50 feet and with a peaked roof even higher. This caused a fairly significant outcry from the community. In the meantime, a "Retail Leakage Study" was commissioned. The study results revealed that the tax base increase would be minimal. Revitalization can mean many things. It can mean adding more retail, it can mean deciding to attract large retail, it can mean big box retail. It can also mean making the dowtown more physically attractive and more pedestrian friendly. The community feed back to the City Council cited key things they wanted to preserve amoung the highest was safety. Other considerations were preserving the views. There are many considerations for the citizens of Orinda, safety happened to be one of the top 3. By the way, for the record, I am not opposed to retail in downtown Orinda. My comment was in response to both the article and comment that Lafayette's dowtown had easy access to Hwy 24. The citizens of Orinda should read the Retail Leakage study which I believe is now posted on the City's site.
CJ February 19, 2011 at 04:39 AM
Hehehehehe!
CJ February 19, 2011 at 04:43 AM
If you want safety. Lose the BART station. That is the transporter of trash to this city. It's nice and convenient, but criminals like nice and convenient. Pay attention to the crime reports for the city. Most of the serious crime (not all) occurs near the on ramps to 24.
CJ February 19, 2011 at 04:46 AM
If you make it a destination, which sounds cool and very tax friendly. You will draw the criminal element with the money that changes hands. Human nature. Strong and visible police force is a great detterent.

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