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Investigation Continues for Series of Convenience Store Robberies

Errant shot fired at Valero gas station was 'alarming,' Walnut Creek Police Chief Joel Bryden says.

Multiple police agencies on Thursday continued to investigate a string of nighttime armed robberies of 24-hour convenience stores in Contra Costa County.

gets a little extra attention because one masked robber, on his way out of the Valero shop on Ygnacio Valley Road, took an errant shot at a customer, who was pumping gas, around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"It is alarming when we have a robbery like we did yesterday morning," said Walnut Creek Police Chief Joel Bryden in an email. "It is very rare when we have a suspect shoot at someone in our city, but crimes like that can and do occur anywhere, as evidenced by the robbery in Pleasant Hill the day before and in Antioch a few hours after ours.

"Our officers working the early morning hours regularly check on businesses that are open all night. We have several in Walnut Creek and do our best to monitor activity in and around those businesses as time permits."

Antioch police are also investigating previous convenience store robberies by masked men, according to KTVU television. On Wednesday morning, the FoodMaxx store in Antioch was robbed by masked men while staff was restocking shelves in the Delta Fair Shopping Center near Route 4.

At 3:27 a.m. Wednesday in Walnut Creek, six armed men in costumes and masks robbed the cashier of the Valero station at Ygnacio Valley Road and North Broadway of cash, a cell phone and some items off the store shelves. As the gang emerged from the convenience store, one suspect fired a weapon at a customer pumping gas.

Police later interviewed that customer, who was uninjured. Police recovered a shell casing on the scene.

Paula Miller September 30, 2011 at 12:09 AM
Isn't it great that our city council and many in Walnut Creek want this suburban town to become more urbanized? This is what comes with the territory of 'progress' and rampant development to try to feed an insatiable appetite for more tax dollars that will make us a "WORLD CLASS DESTINATION" city.
Triple Canopy September 30, 2011 at 03:01 AM
Quite whining you poseur. The tax dollars keep your streets paved, trees trimmed, and the parks and rec department bulging with arts and education classes. It's the "level services the residents expect". Oh, let's not forget the 400 acres of parks and 2,700 acres of open space. Get off your romanticism with "small town" mentality and face the fact that outside monies keeps maintains a high level and variety of goods and services (public AND private). Move to Oakley if you don't like it.
michael frederick September 30, 2011 at 08:55 AM
Triple Canopy, You seem to have overlooked all of the lying used to promote urbanization. Do you believe the city lies to YOU in order to prioritize YOUR interests, as you suggest? That's a bit naive, isn't it? When the city ignores traffic impacts to stuff as many people downtown as possible, it's to: a. save polar bears and spare the air b. supercharge the demographics downtown for retail interest support c. repay BRE for helping to fund a Council reelection bid d. b and c are correct e. service resident appreciation of congestion and economic ecosystem When one sees the city, as in GP2025, contend that urban policing needs in the future will mirror rural ones of the past -- despite WCPD experience, news, and all other contrary evidence ... some find continual examples of such outlandish lying problematic. I'm happy to share other egregious examples with you, or anyone whose intellectual curiosity exceeds their special interest advocacy needs. As someone whose family was instrumental in the Old Tunnel and Caldecott, to produce the commercial center you lecture on today, let me say I'm sure we all appreciate commercial activity. However, the contention that "commercial activity" that includes buying elections through WALPAC, in order to assure the IMPACTS to development (policing, traffic, ...) never get weighed on behalf of the public (that's you) somehow serves the public (you) best is not flattering.
Deborah Burstyn September 30, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Potterville. Frank Capra's depiction of the death and corruption of a small town in "It's a Wonderful Life." In the movie, it was an alternative nightmare scenario for the fictional town of Bedford Falls. For us in Walnut Creek it is now reality.
Paula Miller September 30, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Thanks Deborah for understanding.
Triple Canopy September 30, 2011 at 08:23 PM
I've seen you on WCTV during your conspiracy theory-laden tirades. You have no credibility except among those of your ilk. However, one big issue I have is with WCPD staffing. They've pretty much have the same number of sworn officers compared to way back in 1989. I find it inconsistent that the City wants to be a destination place with more intense retail and residential development in and around downtown but haven't stepped up to the plate with additional police officers to keep pace. Yet, over the same time the arts and rec department has swelled. IMO, they're trying to play both sides of the fence and result of that is the stifling of restaurants with liquor service who want to stay open until 2 AM as allowed by State law.
BuyLocalByCity.com October 04, 2011 at 03:30 PM
I volunteer for the ConcordNeighborhoodWatch.com program and would like to help the convenience stores get Cellular alarm systems with silent alarm panic buttons that go direct to police dispatch. We received a generous donation of several dozen hi-tech Cellular alarm systems to upgraded outdated pushbutton phone line based alarms with this new Cellular technology at no cost to the user. Currently we just give these to Watch Group residents, but they will work for businesses too. Any ideas on how to best get this out there to the businesses owners?
Nokem October 14, 2011 at 04:12 AM
I wonder what your tiny "whining" and quite arrogant thoughts may go to once your house is robbed, or there is gunfire in your neighborhood. I cannot choose which is worse, your arrogance or your ignorance.
Nokem October 14, 2011 at 04:20 AM
Really, Jim, Deborah, Paula, you all seem to have both of your feet in reality and somehow have managed to want to do something to keep the community safe and sound. Common Sense! I am doing the same thing in my own neighborhood. I am organizing Neighborhood watch. Our neighborhood has had too many burglaries, no one was talking, and we are going to plan and monitor our own neighborhoods and take them back (cliche, I know, but it's how we feel).
BuyLocalByCity.com October 14, 2011 at 04:55 AM
Michele, I’m new to Patch so forgive me if I duplicate? I think I just sent you a reply, but not sure what happened so here we go again. I mentioned I was sorry to hear about your home being hit. I had the same happen late last year at my home in Concord which is what spurred me on to start a Neighborhood Watch group of 153 homes where I live. If you need help getting a Watch group started or want a free Cellular alarm with a special monitoring arrangement for victims of crime please visit the ConcordNeighborhoodWatch.com website it has good information and support to get you started. Contact me through the ConcordNeighborhoodWatch.com website I would like to get other Watch groups together as a Co-Op to help each other.

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