Police: Burglary Suspect Drove Near 80 MPH Before Fatal Collision

One person is dead and all three burglary suspects sustained injuries. The suspects are believed to have been residents of San Leandro, Union City, Hayward and Oakland.

Updated 7:25 p.m. Jan. 19

Newark — One person is dead after three home burglary suspects crashed into another vehicle at high speeds during their attempted getaway Wednesday morning, police said.

The victim, who was the sole occupant of a two-door Honda, was pronounced dead at the scene after the Honda was struck by the suspects' charcoal colored Chevy Malibu on Mowry Avenue near Cherry Street, said Cmdr. Robert Douglas of the Newark Police Department.

The driver was identified Thursday as Robert Cheney, 69, of Pleasanton, by officials with the Alameda Coroner's Office. A local media report states that Cheney also has a listed address in Fremont.

The suspect vehicle, which had three occupants, rolled over on impact and overturned into the parking lot of Alameda County Fire Department Station No. 27.

One suspect was found in the vehicle when police arrived and is said to have sustained life-threatening injuries.

Two suspects attempted to flee but were eventually apprehended. One was immediately arrested near the scene of the collision and another was arrested at the Pick N' Pull junk yard, located about one mile away from the scene, police said.

All three were transported to a local trauma center, Douglas said.

The suspects were identified Wednesday afternoon as Rajwaun Watkins, 20, who has lived in Oakland and Hayward; Jabrie Watts, 20, who has lived in Oakland and Hayward; and Deshon Collier, 20, who has lived in San Leandro, Union City and Hayward.

Watkins is said to have suffered a head injury and was in surgery at the time of the police department's press conference around 3:30 p.m., Douglas said.

Police did not elaborate on who was driving the vehicle.

The two suspects who are in custody have been arrested on suspicion of residential burglary, vehicle evasion and other "various felony crimes." All three suspects are said to have "an extensive criminal history," according to a press release.

The fatal collision occurred after a report of a home burglary that was called into the police department after neighbors witnessed three men kicking in the door of a home on Mistflower Drive shortly before 10 a.m., Douglas said. The suspects fled the home in their Chevy Malibu.

Officers responded to the area and attempted to stop the suspect vehicle on Central Avenue near Birch Street, but the driver would not pull over, Douglas said.

Douglas said the officer who tried to stop the vehicle pursued the vehicle for about half a mile and then called the car chase off when the driver of the Malibu fled southbound on Cedar Boulevard and began driving erratically at speeds estimated near 80 miles per hour.

The driver of the Chevy Malibu was traveling westbound on Mowry Avenue and crashed into the two-door Honda shortly after.

The investigation is ongoing and police were still at the scene of the collision as of 5 p.m.

Southbound lanes on Cherry Street starting at Mowry Avenue toward Stevenson Boulevard are closed. Mowry Avenue is also closed starting from Cherry Street to the parking lot at Silliman Activity and Family Aquatic Center. Police said they estimated that it would take up to two more hours until the roads open to traffic.

See the video above to hear a statement from Douglas.

Any person who witnessed the incident or has additional information is asked to call Detective Sergeant Mike Carroll at 510-578-4247. Anonymous tips can be called into the Newark Police Department's Silent Witness Hotline at 510-578-4000, extension 500.

Newark Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

Tim January 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM
"GOD" didn't do much to help Tim Tebow last weekend in New England. I'm pretty sure Tom Brady's SIX TD passes is enough proof of that. Tim Tebow and the Broncos season was already over before this tragedy.
S Smith February 01, 2012 at 01:19 AM
I hope the three thugs ROT IN HELL!!!! This my friends husbandf.
Nadja Adolf February 01, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Ummm.... read your Bible. Not only does God permit people to be tried and convicted in this life by human beings, he calls for the death penalty for murder. Funny how some people are only religious when they use it to excuse criminal activity.
Marga Lacabe February 01, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Nadja, the Old Testament god had, indeed, a penchant for the death penalty. I mean, this is the god who said that if an architect builds a house and it falls, killing the son of the owner, then the archtect's own son should be put to death! Really! But most people nowadays profes to be "Christians", and therefore follow the version of God that appears in the New Testament, specially as interpreted by the words abscribed to Jesus. And the gospels (as opposed to the encyclics) are all about forgiveness, not judging each other, "he without fault throw the first stone", etc. etc. Of course, so-called Christians don't actually like what Jesus has to say, so instead they focus on the old testament. Alas, it doesn't work that way. You only get the Old Testament god if you're Jewish. If you're not, you only get him through Jesus, and then what Jesus says overrides whatever laws God gave the /Jews/.
Summer Hemphill February 02, 2012 at 03:10 AM
All that religious stuff is pretty funny ! If we can send men into space,split atoms & cure cancer why don't these brilliant scientists squander billions looking for heaven & hell ? Because as you all very well know there are no such places you divinely delutional dolts ! It's no wonder most of you are Republicans because if you buy into this deity stuff you'll believe anything someone wearing a tie tells you. Faith is a wonderful thing & as long as you keep it to yourself & don't try to impose it on others you can worship all you want !


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