Community rallies behind Colonial Donuts in Oakland after 3 robberies

Community members on Friday rallied in front of Colonial Donuts on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland in a show of support for a beloved shop that's been robbed at least twice in six months.

"Colonial Donuts is one of the cornerstones of our local neighborhood," a woman named Rachel said. "It's extremely important for me to be there to support them."

She said it also illustrates the "extremely urgent problem we have with local crime." 

As she spoke, people stood behind her with signs that read "People are Dying," "Don't Gamble Your Safety" and "Recall Pamela Price." 

One man held up a sign showing Oakland's yearly crime rate: Robberies are up 35% over last year and burglaries are up 26%. 

Colonial Donuts was robbed on Tuesday night and again Friday morning ahead of the rally. 

Surveillance video shared with KTVU shows two men vaulting the counter about 4:20 a.m. and making off with the register. One of the suspects is seen also grabbing a donut before he takes off. 

The shop was robbed in June, too. 

Other businesses have been targeted this week as well, including Lululemon on Broadway and a string of companies downtown during a pro-Palestinean protest. 

Community members of East Lake Bella Vista wrote on Instagram that what happened to Colonial Donuts is "indicative of a larger issue – a failure of leadership that has allowed the situation to escalate to unprecedented levels." 

The group wants city leaders to take "immediate and meaningful steps" in creating a more secure environment.

The day before, Oakland police and Mayor Sheng Thao promised they are doing that. 

As one example, they announced they would be extending their holiday safety plan as the city moves forward to crack down on business burglaries, which are seeing break-ins occur.

Police explained how they're strengthening their ability to fight crime during their graveyard shifts by transferring undercover officers to the commercial burglary team.

Deputy Chief James Beere said the department has assigned officers on special assignment from patrol from three areas to work with the Ceasefire unit.

In terms of Price, she has consistently maintained that she is doing the job she promised to do on the campaign trail.

And she and others also point to studies, including one by the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, that show progressive prosecutors are not tied to the rise in violent crime. 

Earlier this week, her campaign held a gathering at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Oakland to fight against her recall. 

She said that she, too, cares about the "safety of people to be able to walk in whatever neighborhoods they are in and to shop in whatever neighborhood."