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Thieves target 7

Jun 22, 2024

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Owners of several 7-Eleven stores in Oakland say theyre being targeted by thieves and that the problem is escalating. Theyve counted at least six incidents around the city since the beginning of August. Store owners say they believe the same group is responsible for these crimes.

OAKLAND, Calif. - Owners of several 7-Eleven stores in Oakland said they're being targeted by thieves -- and that the problem is escalating.

They've counted at least six incidents around the city since the beginning of this month. The store owners said they believe the same group is responsible for these crimes.

They said they're frustrated and that in each incident, groups of young men in their 20s enter the store with garbage bags and fill them with items they grab off the shelves.

Surveillance video shows thieves as they broke into the 7-Eleven on Harrison Street in downtown Oakland Monday about 4 a.m.

They are seen stealing cigarettes and tobacco products off shelves. They also tried to remove a bolted-down safe, but failed.

"It happens every week. Sometimes this store, sometimes the other store," said store owner Parminder Dhingra, who is also the director of the Greater Bay Area Franchise Owners Association.

Another camera captured the suspects and the cars they arrived in.

"These are all the incidents happening at this store," said Dhingra as he flipped through the dozens of incident reports he's filed with police each time his store has been robbed or burglarized in the past year.

"We file these reports. Nothing happens. Nobody gets caught," Dhingra said.

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They say it's not fun anymore when the rabbit got the gun. Two 7-Eleven employees turned the tables against a man who was on the verge of stealing dozens of boxes of cigarettes from the store.

He added that since the beginning of August, there have been six robberies or burglaries at 7-Eleven stores so far in various parts of Oakland.

On Thursday, police said six people arrived in three vehicles at a store on 23rd Avenue.

One person rammed a car into the front window and door of the store, stole items and fled.

"We're tired of this. We're here to do a business. We're here to serve the community. We're here to work, serve and feed our families," said 7-Eleven owner Ravi Kakkar.

He said his store on MacArthur Boulevard was robbed twice in three days this month.

He said the suspects wear face coverings and they work in groups of four to six people.

"They're stealing all the cigarettes, tobacco products, the Juul, everything," said Naveen, a 7-Eleven store manager who declined to give his last name.

He said he was robbed while working at the store on International Boulevard just before 8 p.m. last Wednesday.

"I'm so scared.," said Naveen.

Kakkar said that he doesn't want to come to work anymore.

"But I have to," he said, "just to feed my family." The store owners demanded that city leaders take a strong stance against crime and to do something to help small businesses.

Police have not yet said if there are any arrests in these cases.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at [email protected] or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU, Instagram @AmberKTVU or Twitter @AmberKTVU.

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By PublishedUpdatedOAKLAND, Calif.