Emeryville PD Armed Robbery Call ends peacefully

1 min read

The Emeryville PD disrupted what was originally thought to be a potential armed robbery last night. Officers responding to a call from a resident at the Artistry Emeryville Apartment Complex on Shellmound who reported seeing three “suspicious” subjects in the first level parking garage. The suspects were described as wearing masks, camouflage and armed with what appeared to be assault style weapons and handguns.

EPD units arrived on the scene and set a perimeter around the complex. Lieutenant Fred Dauer spotted the subjects in the first floor parking garage and successfully detained the four subjects with assisting units led by Sargeant Mike Lee. The subjects were cooperative, obeyed police commands and were apprehended without incident.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that the subjects were filming a rap music video using realistic “Airsoft” replica guns. These guns are legal and used in simulated combat games such as paint ball. These are the same types of replica guns that led to the 2014 officer-involved shooting and death of 12 year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, OH. These replicas did not have an orange tip on the barrel which is commonly used to distinguish them from real firearms. This is apparently not illegal in the U.S.

“This type of call is one that could have very easily turned into some sort of use of force up to and including deadly force.” noted Emeryville PD Chief Jennifer Tejada through email.

The subjects were released from police detention and given the advice of notifying their local law enforcement agencies of their activity prior to prevent this type of confusion and avoid possible tragedy.

“It is disturbing that people would create this kind of high risk scenario in which lives could very well be jeopardized” added Tejada. “I am very proud of the manner in which our staff handles these incidents considering how intensely stressful they are given the realistic appearance of the weapons.”

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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. Good to know these guys were not real criminals, but they are obviously guilty of criminal stupidity. Thank you EPD for your intelligent and measured response. Sorry you have to deal with such bone-headed behavior.

      • Hi Josh – While it wouldn’t be the first time I made a stupid comment, I’m curious why you find it acceptable for guys to run around on city streets wearing masks, camouflage clothing, and brandishing replica weapons without at least letting the EPD in on the joke. It seems like this is a pretty good example of seriously flawed thinking that could have ended up with disastrous consequences. I’d like to hear why you disagree with this perspective.

  2. My question is,mifnthey were not actively filming at the time, why were they wearing their masks? I agree with the bone-headed comment big time!

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