HomeTop StoriesAttempted carjacking in Oakland Hills caught on dashcam

Attempted carjacking in Oakland Hills caught on dashcam

OAKLAND – Violent crime has been a problem in Oakland for a long time now, but it’s often been localized. But now, a shocking video is bringing crime home to a lot of people who never expected to become a victim.

People living high in the Oakland hills have always enjoyed a sense of security…even as crime soared, it always stayed “down there,” in the flatlands. But not anymore.

A dashcam video posted to Nextdoor is provoking a lot of talk–and a lot of fear. In it a woman is driving on Skyline Boulevard when the car in front suddenly pulls up blocking the lane. Two young people jump out, one armed with a pistol. It takes a moment for the driver to react, but when the gunman raps on the window, she screams and swerves around the car and roars off. The driver was lucky, managing to escape, but is too traumatized to speak about it now. Elizabeth Gage can sympathize.

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“…unbelievable,” said Gage as she watched the video. “My god! That scream…that scream is…oh my god!”

Gage had her own harrowing experience recently when a car began following her near her home. For 35 minutes, she tried to elude them, reaching speeds over 100 miles per hour on the freeway.

“And I thought, wow, this guy, whoever these people are, they’re going to get you. And I kept yelling, you’re not going to get me, no way, no way!” she said.

So, this latest video is simply confirmation of what a lot of people have been seeing lately on Nextdoor. A video of a car slowly casing parked vehicles at 4 o’clock in the morning. Another showing car burglars making a fast getaway. A still photo of a package thief staring up at a surveillance camera. These are the images that people living in the hills thought they were immune to.

“I’m afraid to go out and get my mail,” said Gage. “I’m afraid to walk my dog. No, this is new.”

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But as neighbors start to avoid driving on Skyline Blvd, City Councilmember Kevin Jenkins said he has seen enough. He said he will be asking for automated license plate readers on the street and wants to see consequences for violent offenders.

“I want to be sure that people who are committing harm in our neighborhoods are punished,” said Jenkins. “And so, what that looks like on the other side–with the District Attorney’s office–I’m sure they will take their best thinking into that. But I’m here to advocate that if you’re committing harm in Oakland, in our community, that you’re punished!”

District Attorney Pamela Price is getting a lot of the blame for crime in Oakland these days. Many feel her charging decisions regarding young offenders are sending a message of permissiveness. Gage voted for Price but said she had no idea what was in store.

“She calls them ‘our babies.” These are NOT babies,” said Gage. “These are really disturbed young people. And there needs to be a consequence, because without a consequence, everybody else is looking and saying, ‘nothing happens.'”

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Neighbors also complain that police often take days to respond to reports of crime. Councilmember Jenkins acknowledged they are short-staffed but said he wants to see if resources can be reorganized to address crime in the hills, as well.

A public safety meeting will be held Thursday night at Montclair Presbyterian Church and Price is currently scheduled to attend. But Gage said she probably won’t be getting a warm welcome with the images of that video so fresh in people’s minds. 

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