Patch Reader Was Caught Up In Safeway Robbery

San Leandro resident Leah Hall was on a routine shopping trip Tuesday night when a gang of gunmen took over the store, robbed the till and fled.


It was business as usual Wednesday at the Safeway at 555 Bancroft Avenue where, the night before, five gunmen had invaded the store, ordered patrons and employees to hit the deck and cleaned out the till.

"I was there shopping in the back of the store at the time," San Leandro resident Leah Hall told Patch. "I didn't see or hear much, but I did drop to the ground and pray with a few other shoppers and staff members."

It was a quick but terrifying experience.

"Some of us ran to the stock room and hid in a (computer) office," Hall recalled. "The young manager called 911 on her cell phone. The police arrived about 3-5 minutes later and took reports."

Patrons like Hall who had been in the back of the store and didn't see much were allowed to leave. But even those in the front where the robbers cleaned out two cash registers could see very little. 

That's because the gunmen wore hoodies and masks. Witnesses say they ran out of the store heading north. The police have released no information about any getaway vehicle that may have been used.

Getting caught up in the Safeway robbery is not Hall's only brush with crime in San Leandro. "We've had 4 robberies in the last 2.5 years, and that is only our house," she lamented, adding, "What is this neighborhood coming to?"

Concerned about crime? Citizens For a Safer San Leandro has helped organize a forum on community policing on Tuesday, October, 2, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Senior Community Center, 13909 East 14th Street. The San Leandro Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit will be on hand to discuss how citizens can help make law enforcement more effective.

Tom Abate September 28, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Anne, the wireless camera is an interesting idea. When we had that terrible rape on Bridge Street a few months ago a private video cam was among the critical pieces of evidence that led to a speedy arrest. One other thing that we can do now is attend the community policing forum on Tuesday, October, 2, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Senior Community Center, 13909 East 14th Street. It was scheduled before the Safeway robbery but it couldn't have been better timed.
Anne September 28, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Tom, I absolutely plan to be at that meeting with my husband. The nice thing about the wifi cameras is that it will only take a few arrests for the word on the street to get out that San Leandro Citizens have set up wifi cameras. If we could get this together, we won't be the first city to do something like this... New Orleans and Los Angeles are doing this to fight crime but I believe this was mostly in business districts and instituted by city government and not residents. To my knowledge this idea hasn't really been implemented in a residential community. Wouldn't it be fantastic to pioneer and bring to action a community based effort like this? I think so. I'd personally contribute my own time to help makes this happen provided there is interest.
Ken Briggs September 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Anne we got to get the courts to do better . the police bust the bad people and the courts let them loose . if the courts would back the police departments up and make these bad folks stay away from some of these areas things might be better . if the police department could have more unmarked cars that might help also . give a hand to the police department , just have the courts do a better job , let some of these bad people live with the judge for awhile .
Anne September 28, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Ken, I don't disagree that there are bigger issues regarding addressing crime and keeping the criminals off the street. I understand that its not only important to catch the criminals but that it also is important for there to be ramifications for their offense. Honestly, I think that just catching them would be a great first step to deterring crime in our neighborhoods. Criminals look for the 'easy target' and tend to skip the hassle of homes with dogs, alarms, video cameras (certainly not always, but many times). Without doubt, the mountain is steep. Let's just take the first step.
Ken Briggs September 28, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Anne if we would do some rough justice like whack off a leg, it might help . now we got to let them keep a hand so they can feed them selfs and wipe them selfs but then they may think next time . But for the ones that are in jail and prisons got it made . they get free room and board fre medical care and able to use the courts to get what they want . we tax payers got to pay for all that . make them work for the room and board . . just bdo some rough justice and maybe some of this stuff will stop .


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