April 2019 Emeryville Crime Report: Second Victoria’s Secret “Flash Mob” Robbery, Armed Robbery at Taco Bell

4 mins read

The April 2019 Emeryville Crime Report saw 206 total crimes reported for the month (down sharply from the 245 ‘spike’ reported in March). Property crime remain on a +21% trajectory from last year and violent crimes are on a +12% trajectory.

The rash of Apple Store robberies at Bay Street seems to have subsided after the recent arrest of 17 individuals last September by local authorities. Meanwhile, organized criminals may have turned their attention to clothing and undergarments. Victoria’s Secret was the victim of a so-called “flash mob” robbery for the second straight month. Urban Outfitters at the Public Market were also recent victims of this pattern of crime.

According to the report, a group of five females entered the Bay Street store, pepper-sprayed the loss-prevention officer, grabbed merchandise valued at an estimated $10,000, and fled in an awaiting vehicle. While most of the suspects in the Apple Store robberies were young males, the suspects in these Victoria’s Secret thefts were all described as females.

Flash Mob robberies, officially known as “multiple offender crimes” or organized retail crime (ORC), occur when a group of thieves act in coordination by overwhelming the employees of the store and fleeing with as much merchandise as they can carry.

According to the FBI, estimated losses attributed to these types of theft could reach as much as $30 billion a year. The 2017 National Retail Federation survey found that 95% of merchants across the U.S. reported losses from this type of ‘coordinated’ theft.

Democratic lawmakers in districts that have been impacted by these crimes have attempted to amend laws like Proposition 47 to close “loopholes” that they say encourage these types of thefts by reducing them from felonies to misdemeanors. They have been met with strong resistance from so-called ‘criminal justice reform’ advocates who say it unfairly imprisons those that commit non-violent crimes.

Our Emeryville City Council voted in unison to oppose reforms to Prop 47 in 2017 with Councilmember Bauters calling them “severely flawed”. State legislators with support from law enforcement officials are targeting a ballot measure in 2020 to again try to amend this law.

Overall, crimes reported for 2019 are on an 19% upward trajectory from last year.



The City of Emeryville is divided into small geographical areas that facilitate the Department’s efforts to tract crime and neighborhood problems, and allocate personnel resources to meet the service need. Crime statistics are reported by the EPD through CommunityCrimeMap.com. An archive of monthly crime statistics provided can be viewed on the city website. A more comprehensive and chronological list of these crimes can be viewed in the City’s Monthly Progress report (Page 58).

[one_third last=”no”]
1. San Pablo Avenue
2. North Emeryville
3. Emery Bay
4. Peninsula
[one_third last=”no”]
5. Shellmound
6. Artist Colony
7. San Pablo Avenue – South
8. Triangle
[one_third last=”yes”]
9. East Bay bridge (East)
10. East Bay bridge (West)
11. Outside of City Limits


The reporting district matrix lists the category and number of crimes reported by district. The descriptions below are “highlights” and are not provided for every crime reported.


District 3

Powell St./Shellmound St.: A strongarm robbery occurred. LOSS: Cell phone. Suspect: Male, no further description. Suspect Vehicle: Dark 4-Door sedan. At the Black Diamond Café, 6399 Christie Ave.: An attempt robbery occurred. Unknown suspects attempted to take laptops from two females but were unsuccessful.

Hyatt House Parking Lot, 5800 Shellmound St.: A robbery/shooting occurred. LOSS: Gold chain. Suspect: (2) subjects wearing masks.

District 4

Bay Super Shell, 1800 Powell St., #1/2: A robbery at gunpoint occurred. LOSS: Cash – Unknown amount. Suspect: Male, 20s, 6’2”, wearing a black hooded zip up sweatshirt.

District 5

Powell Street Plaza, on the 5700 block of Christie Ave.: A strongarm robbery occurred. LOSS: Cell phone. Suspects: (5) juveniles.

Victoria’s Secret, 5672 Bay St.: A shoplifter used force to steal merchandise. LOSS/Recovered: Underwear. EPD arrested the suspect shortly thereafter.

Victoria’s Secret, 5672 Bay St.: A group of females entered the store. One suspect immediately pepper sprayed the security guard, while the other females grabbed merchandise. They all fled to a vehicle and left the area. LOSS: Merchandise valued at $10,000. Suspect Vehicle: Kia sedan, silver.

At Shellmound St./Ohlone Wy.: A strongarm robbery occurred. LOSS: Cell phone. Suspects: (2) males. Suspect Vehicle: Infinite, white.

5600 block of Shellmound St.: A strongarm robbery occurred. LOSS: Cell phone. Suspect: Male, 6’2” – 6’3”, wearing a dark hoodie. Suspect Vehicle: Lexus IS 250, silver.

District 9

IFO Pak N Save, 3889 San Pablo Ave.: An attempt robbery occurred. A male suspect attempted to take another male’s backpack from his cart but was unsuccessful. The suspect left the area riding a black bicycle.

Taco Bell, 3839 Emery St., #700: A robbery at gunpoint occurred. LOSS: NONE. Suspect: Male, early 20s, 5’10” – 6”0”, wearing a brown leather jacket and dark pants. The same suspect later robbed McDonald’s Restaurant on Telegraph Ave in Oakland.

IFO Nordstrom’s Rack, 3839 Emery St., #100: A strongarm robbery occurred. A suspect struggled with the victim over her cell phone but was unsuccessful. A second suspect robbed the victim of her wallet. Suspect: (2) males, 20s. Suspect Vehicle: Infinite G25, white.

Home Depot, 3838 Hollis St.: A robbery at knifepoint occurred. LOSS/Recovered: Mouse traps. EPD arrested the shoplifter shortly thereafter.

IFO 13XX 40th St.: A strongarm robbery occurred. An argument between the victim and suspects resulted in a physical altercation, and the suspects stealing the victim’s backpack. LOSS: Backpack. Suspect Vehicle: Toyota, no further description.



Aggravated Assault:

District 9

12XX 40th St.: A female was choked and thrown against the stucco wall. The suspect is an acquaintance of the victim. Suspect: Male.

Commercial Burglary

District 1

Kikoko, 1265 67th St.: POE: Front door – Pried open. LOSS: A Honey Stick (consumable good).

District 2

Bhava Construction, 1351 Ocean Ave.: POE: Front glass door – Broken. LOSS: Unknown.

Residential Burglary

District 5

Hyatt Place 5600 Bay St.: POE: Door – No sign of forced entry. LOSS: Wallet containing cash.


Of the 8 vehicles reported stolen:

  • 5 vehicles were recovered intact
  • 1 vehicles were recovered but damaged or stripped
  • 1 vehicle is still outstanding
  • 1 report was determined to be unfounded

The spreadsheet compares criminal activity relative to last year, averages from the previous 3 years and annual totals for the year.


*Categories not included in Part 1 Crimes
N/C: Not Calculable

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. District 1
    Kikoko, 1265 67th St.: POE: Front door – Pried open. LOSS: A Honey Stick (consumable good).

  2. Why are all the races missing for the suspects? Does EPD not know the race of the suspects? They used to provide this info. What happened?

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