9 kids accused of 35 robberies across Oakland, East Bay

Nine adolescents and teens were arrested in connection with a spree of robberies and other crimes across the East Bay, including the recent assault of a 63-year-old woman in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood, authorities said.

Ranging in age from 12 to 17, the underage suspects are believed to have committed 32 robberies in Oakland, two in Piedmont and one in El Cerrito, according to the Oakland Police Department. The group consists of three girls and six boys.

The robberies happened in the neighborhoods of Rockridge, Uptown, Trestle Glen, Grand Lake, Bella Vista, Acorn, Adams Point, Longfellow, Northgate, Fruitvale, Ivy Hill, Chinatown, Mosswood and Temescal.

Police believe the group is tied to the robbery and beating of a 63-year-old woman outside of Rockridge Market Hall on Sunday afternoon. The woman was pushed to the ground, robbed and assaulted, police said.

The incident happened in Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb's district.

"It's bad enough that you're robbing people and taking their property. That's still a violent crime," Kalb said. But when you're unnecessarily kicking and pushing and hurting them physically when you don't even have to, that's weird. It's sick."

Oakland police were able to make arrests in the robbery spree after officers spotted a Hyundai Santa Fe on Sunday that was wanted in connection with one of the alleged crimes.

Officers tracked the vehicle to a smoke shop near 14th and Madison streets, where 5 of the occupants got out of the vehicle and went into a nearby establishment, authorities said.

As officers arrived at the scene, the suspect vehicle that was in front of the establishment sped off.

The police department's helicopter, Argus, tracked the vehicle to the area of 6th Avenue and E. 15th Street in the Eastlake neighborhood. Four of the vehicle's occupants got out and fled on foot, which initiated a foot pursuit. Those four individuals, all minors, were arrested.

The police department said the city has seen a 7% increase in robberies over this same time last year.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at Henry.Lee@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and facebook.com/henrykleefan