2 waitresses attacked, robbed leaving Alameda restaurant

The similarities are unmistakable. Two women accosted after leaving their work at a Chinese restaurant, just weeks after another woman was killed during a robbery down the street.

Some residents of the normally tranquil island city are worried.

"I don't feel it's safe for women to be out at night, to tell you the truth,” said Lourdes Argueta.

The two women had just finished their shift at a busy Chinese restaurant on Webster Street at about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.

They were walking to their cars when two vehicles stopped in the middle of nearby Pacific Avenue. Four to six people emerged and confronted them.

A 59-year old woman from Hercules was hit in the face with something -- possibly a bottle -- and knocked to the ground before her purse was stolen. 

The second victim, a 52-year-old Oakland woman, was also forced to the ground and had her purse snatched from her shoulder.

Their manager said their purses were later found in San Francisco. One woman's wallet was missing.
Naty Feliciano, who ate at the restaurant Thursday while visiting from Los Angeles, said, “It's not fair. They're working hard, they're doing an honest living. And then these people who robbed them are just waiting for victims."

The robbery comes less than three weeks after a deadly attack outside the Pho Anh Dao restaurant, also on Webster Street.

Authorities released surveillance video from the April 6 incident. The victim, 61-year old Cindy Le, died from her injuries.

Alameda police Lt. Wayland Gee said Thursday that there's no link between the homicide and the latest robbery. He said there's no evidence the robbers in the latest incident knew the women were restaurant workers. 

Still, people who frequent the neighborhood say the recent holdups have given them pause.
“I will not find myself walking, not in here, either,” Argueta said. “I don't think it's safe. Overall, it's just not a good idea. I feel that women should be very careful.”

Joan Sims agreed, saying, 

"I'm very concerned, especially since what happened down the street from here, and we've lived in Alameda all our lives, and we’ve never had this much crime. So we don't know why."