The recent string of armed robberies of occupied stores is worse than previously known.
We know about the Safeway, WalMart and Home Depot that were held up while patrons watched.
Now Patch has learned that the Togo's in Westgate Shopping Center was the target of a similar heist on December 15.
San Leandro police confirmed Wednesday that a lone gunman entered the sandwhich shop at about 7 pm on that Saturday before Christmas, ordered everyone into the back of the store and forced an employee to open the safe.
The robber fled on foot with an undisclosed sum of cash.
No injuries were reported. There has been no arrest in the case.
The previously unreported Togo's heist came two days before a pair of gunmen stuck up the WalMart in Westgate Center. One person is in custody and another is being sought for that holdup.
Most recently, on Tuesday night, a pair of gunmen held up the Home Depot in the same shopping center, and escaped with cash.
That makes three store stickups in Westgate Center in a month.
In late September five armed men terrorized the Safeway on Bancroft Avenue and escaped with cash.
There have been no breaks in that case.
That comes to four times in four months that armed robbers have stuck up stores filled with patrons.
San Leandro Police Lieutenant Randy Brandt said the Safeway robbery was the most unusual of the lot given the size of the gang.
He noted that authorities have made some headway in the WalMart case.
But holdups are difficult to crack unless police get hard evidence, a confession or, as is often the case, one of the perpetrators gets arrested for some other offense.
"There has been an unfortunate rise in such crimes throughout the Bay Area," Brandt said.
(Patch will have more on the robberies.)