.

UPDATE: Police have increased patrols, identified some suspects in Walnut Creek and Concord robbery spree

The robbery at Chase Bank on Tuesday was the third at the Citrus Plaza shopping center at Oak Grove and Ygnacio Valley roads since December. Chart below indicates that 10 robberies have taken place in Walnut Creek and Concord since September.

The day after a man robbed the Chase Bank in the Citrus Plaza Marketplace Tuesday, Walnut Creek police said they have increased patrols in the eastern portion of the city and are working with Concord police to catch the different robbers who have hit at least 10 businesses in both cities since September. 

Walnut Creek police Sgt. Tom Cashion added that detectives have identified several suspects in one or more of the cases. He declined to say which cases could soon be resolved until the Contra Costa District Attorney's office reviews the evidence and files charges.

Cashion added that different suspects are responsible for the different holdups, the in Walnut Creek and just over the border in Concord. The majority of the robberies have also been committed by men armed with guns. 

Cashion said reserve officers have helped detectives conduct surveillance in the centers, and police have visited businesses owners and talked to them about crime prevention tips. 

Tuesday's robbery at Chase Bank left residents in the Woodlands neighborhood in Walnut Creek, next door to Citrus Plaza, especially concerned. 

"I am very worried," says Woodlands resident Christy Alexander. "I am just letting my sixth-grade daughter have some independence in the neighborhood and now I wonder if that is such a good idea."

Alexander and others in the neighborhood are hoping to work with city officials and WCPD to deal with the crime spree.

"We at City Hall are of course very concerned about these crimes," said Walnut Creek Council member Kish Rajan, who lives near the Woodlands and is a parent at Valle Verde Elementary School, located in the neighborhood. "I am in touch with our chief of police, as is our mayor, and we are meeting today and tomorrow, and will be speaking with Woodlands area leaders, to ensure we are taking all needed measures to protect this neighborhood and all neighborhoods in Walnut Creek."

The chart below shows counts 10 robberies in Walnut Creek and Concord.

Before Tuesday night's robbery at Chase, the took place Saturday when a man robbed the  coffeehouse located on the corner of Treat Boulevard and Oak Grove Road just after 6:30 p.m.

The businesses targeted in the 10 holdups have mostly been restaurants, fast-food restaurants or coffee houses. The Kelly-Moore Paint store on North Main Street in Walnut Creek was robbed in early November.

Tuesday's holdup was the first to involve a bank.

Walnut Creek police received a call at 5:09 p.m. that the Chase Bank at 2200 Oak Grove Road had just been robbed. Witnesses told police that a white male adult came into the bank and handed the teller a note, demanding cash. The robber didn't display any kind of weapon. The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and the robber fled, possibly in a burgundy four-door compact car. 

The man was in his mid-40s, had dirty-blond hair and was wearing a thin black jacket with a gray sweatshirt underneath and black gloves. 

At Oak Grove Road and Treat Boulevard, the  sandwich shop in the same shopping center as Starbucks was also recently robbed. Across the street, at Oak Grove Plaza, the has been robbed twice within the past couple of months.

Closer to Ygnacio Valley Road, include the Quiznos and Panda Express in Citrus Plaza and the Taco Bell in the Encina Grande shopping center on Ygnacio Valley Road at Oak Grove.

No arrests have been made in any of the robberies.

Anyone with information on any of these robberies should call the Walnut Creek Police Department at (925) 943-5844.

The following chart of robberies of businesses in Walnut Creek and Concord was compiled from information reported on Walnut Creek Patch, Concord Patch, and the blog Claycord.com. 

DATE LOCATION BUSINESS TIME
OF DAY  NO.
SUS-
PECTS  WEAPONS?

Tuesday,
Jan. 11 

Citrus Plaza Chase Bank 5 p.m. 1 None seen; handed teller note

Saturday,
Jan. 8  

Oak Grove & Treat
  Starbucks 6:30 p.m. 1 Handgun

Wednesday,
Dec. 8

Citrus Plaza Quiznos 6 p.m. 1 Semiautomatic
handgun  Friday, 
Dec. 3   Citrus Plaza Panda Express 10 p.m. 2 Handgun; 
The robbery took place after closing time; employees refused to unlock doors to robbers   Wednesday, Nov. 3 Encina Grande Taco Bell 9:14 p.m. 2 Guns;
Robbers jumped over cash register and took money. 

Thursday, 
Nov. 25 

Countrywood  Black Bear Diner 1 a.m. 3 Knife; baseball bat 
Robbers struck one employee, forced others to open safe.   Sunday, 
Nov. 7   North Main Street  Kelly-Moore Paints  5 p.m.  2  Guns

Monday, Oct. 18 

Oak Grove & Treat  Round Table Pizza 9 p.m.  2

Shotgun;
Forced victims to the ground and took money from safe. 

Monday, 
Sept. 13  Oak Grove & Treat Round Table Pizza 8:40 p.m.  2 Handguns Monday, Sept. 6 Oak Grove & Treat Subway  9 p.m.  2 Handguns;
Robbers told victims to get on the ground.  
michael frederick January 16, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Obiwan, We agree they are effective tools for redevelopment... As to competence, I wouldn't beat yourself up. They have perfected this over 20+ years. Aside from that, this isn't a case of Cindy or Gary or Kish vs. Obiwan. These are WC institutions -- City Hall, Chamber of Commerce, The Times -- that have partnered to fabricate information and dominate its dissemination. These folks signed on to feed this system and anything they are is central to this. As to the rest, I believe in being direct. If you offer an opinion with exclamation points, such as "YES!", you should be able to justify it. Otherwise, I'd suggest commas and periods should accompany your promotion. I don't think that's unreasonable.
One more time with feeling January 17, 2011 at 02:53 AM
Im4WC, There was ample opportunity to not demolish the old library and put this project into a holding pattern and obvious good reason to do so. Voters "were not willing to pay for it" because voters recognized the city could not afford it, as confirmed by then City Manager, Mike Parness - who was fired and replaced by Gary Pokorney. City Council reserved about $20 million after the two no votes because of the bet (OK, "plan") to get funding from the state (Prop 81) which also failed. The city's financial reserves were raided to cover that lost bet (oops, "plan"). City employees were laid off because the raid. http://www.walnut-creek.org/about/qualitylife/libraries/dlp/update.asp The bids went out in March 2008 and contracts were awarded April, 2008, a time many would consider very close to the worst point of this current recession cycle and not, as you state, "initiated prior to the economic collapse". The only things going on with the project up until then *should* have been only discussions by city council, staff, consultant and maybe the Library Foundation. If you know about contracts or agreements, I know several people who would be very interested in details. ... continued...
One more time with feeling January 17, 2011 at 03:16 AM
...continued... reply to Im4WC... Was the community so verbal on the No vote regarding the library parcel taxes? Not that I recall. There were a few - a former City Manager (not Mike), a former Mayor, and many others attempting to look out for the true "best interests of the community" from a financial perspective... Since you say you were not around, I urge you to look into "Eisley Communications" (now Eisley-Silva Communications) The former Library Foundation executive director You can connect the dot on your own. Within a day or so of laying off 30+ city employees claiming lack of financial resources (and Gary P's "the new normal"), the pronouncement was made of Heather Farm Park's Clarke Swim Center and Larkey Park pools major re-construction projects - likely to the tune of ~$21 million we still do not have and still cannot afford. I have said many times... I am NOT anti-library. I am NOT anti-pool. I am anti-spending money we don't have. If we can afford it, why did council raid our reserves and why did those layoffs happen? A $20 million library would have been "affordable", would not have caused unnecessarily use of city financial reserves and likely would not have resulted in the layoffs. The $5,000 sinks, $4,000 chairs and $500,000 automated book sorter are merely exclamation points on this ill-conceived, county-staffed, liability. One more time with feeling: "Hold on to your wallets - here comes the pools projects." OMTWF
cah1062 January 24, 2011 at 12:47 AM
Sadly, we have experienced a robbery in our Walnut Creek neighborhood just yesterday afternoon -- the police arrested an 18 year-old kid from Concord who broke into a car near Arbolado Park and stole a woman's purse, then fled into our neighborhood and hid in a neighbor's back yard before a police k-nine sniffed him out. We live in an upscale area of Walnut Creek on the Concord border... I have to agree with Deborah -- it is easy to come over the hill and bring this crime element to our (what I thought was...) safe community.
Josh Goldman December 30, 2012 at 09:26 AM
Wrong wrong wrong!!! The thugs are always from West Pittsburg, Antioch, or Oakland. They travel through Walnut Creek and take advantage of it's citizen's politeness. I say buy a gun and shoot them in the face. That will send a message to Baypoint ghetto retards.

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