Bay Area/ Oakland/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 13, 2024
Oakland Police Arrest Suspect in Highland Park Home Invasions, Charge Group of Teens with East Oakland Commercial BurglariesSource: Google Street View

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) has reported a series of arrests connected to multiple home invasion robberies and commercial burglaries. In recent weeks, Oakland's Highland Park neighborhood was struck by a string of home invasions attributed to 32-year-old Derrick Behrens, who was apprehended on May 5, 2024, after a concerted law enforcement effort. A search of Behrens' residence uncovered evidence linking him to the crimes, and charges have been filed against him by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, the Oakland Police Department reports.

Additionally, a spike in commercial property crimes has been troubling East Oakland since January. A group of four 17-year-olds is believed to have been involved in more than 50 commercial burglaries and armed robberies across Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area. They are accused of having stolen cash registers and committed armed robberies, with their most recent spree on May 29, spanning Hegenberger Road, International Boulevard, and MacArthur Boulevard. The juveniles are now facing charges, with all being held in the Alameda County Juvenile Hall.

Oakland Police Chief Floyd Mitchell has acknowledged the decrease in overall violent crimes but emphasizes the work that remains. "While we have seen a decrease in the overall number of violent crimes identified, our work is far from complete," Mitchell said. He expressed gratitude to community members and law enforcement partners for their roles in working towards a safer Oakland and praised the dedication of OPD officers, as per the Oakland Police Department.

These developments come amidst broader conversations about public safety and youth crime in the Bay Area. The efforts of a variety of OPD units, including the Crime Analysis Unit, Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Investigators, Crime Reduction Teams (CRT), Community Resource Officers (CRO), and Patrol Officers were integral to bringing the suspects to justice. The OPD continues its commitment, as Mitchell puts it, "to continuing the work" of maintaining safety and order within the Oakland community, seeking to address not only the symptoms but the roots of criminal behavior.