$25,000 stolen in flash robbery at US convenience store, cops arrive after 9 hours

A flash mob of around 80 to 100 looters ransacked a gas station convenience store near the Oakland Airport in North California, causing thousands of dollars in damage, officials said on Sunday. Notably, the owner of the gas station claimed that the police arrived at the scene 9 hours later.

The incident took place at around 4.30 am on Friday, when the mob, which had attended a nearby car sideshow, attacked the 76 Station near the San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport.

Store owner Sam Mardaie told ABC 7 News Bay Area that approximately 80 to 100 people broke through his store’s front door and grabbed everything they could get their hands on.

A video of the incident has gone viral on social media which shows looters snatching drinks from the fridges, food items off the shelves, boxes and baskets belonging to the store, and a television. Some climbed over the register and looted items from underneath the counter.

The mob, according to Mardaie, also took around 25,000 US Dollars in cash from the register and ATM, but the store’s safe remained secure. Two employees inside the store were even threatened during the 40-minute rampage.

Mardaie, who took over the business with his family in August 2023, expressed his frustration and heartbreak over the incident.

“This is the hardest thing you could ever go through, especially if you’ve been put in sweat and tears day in and day out. Building yourself for the last ten months and then you’re back to square one,” he said.

According to media reports, the mob was reportedly angry because the store, a 24/7 establishment, was only offering window service during the overnight hours.

Mardaie said that when he made a call to Oakland police, the dispatcher classified the crime as a Priority 2, as no suspects were on scene, and suggested it could be reported online.

The incident was only upgraded to a Priority 1 after a video of the looting was shared with the police, leading to an officer being dispatched nine hours later, he said.

Reacting to Mardaie’s claims, cops said that they were initially occupied with responding to a car sideshow involving over 100 vehicles near the airport, followed by a burglary 90 minutes later.

Published By:

Sahil Sinha

Published On:

Jul 7, 2024

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