Fear of crime deterring commerce in Oakland's Chinatown

Law enforcement agencies, from the Oakland Police Department to the FBI, are joining together to not only stop the violent attacks in Oakland Chinatown, but to get those responsible off the street.

The Chinatown Chamber Of Commerce says shop owners tell them business is down about 50 percent from about a month ago.

"People are so worried walking on the streets, especially when they're seeing it in broad daylight. They're still coming out and robbing and beating up people. That's scaring so many people," says chamber president Carl Chan.

Two armed robberies happened on consecutive days about two weeks ago. In one case, two men pistol-whipped a man with a cane before robbing him. The next day on the same block of Ninth Street, robbers snatched the purses off an elderly mother and her daughter.

Police say they have few leads in either case.

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In response, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong has allotted the overtime necessary to place extra patrol officers in the neighborhood as a deterrent.

"We've been able to make some stops on individuals we believe were targeted. We're being very pro-active," said Armstrong.

Armstrong was part of a small army of law enforcement officials Monday who stood on the very block where the attacks occurred.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley promised to push for stricter punishment for those who use guns in crimes.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had formed firearms trafficking strike forces to go after illegal guns. And the FBI is helping police.

"We may have information in our holdings, federal databases that just don't reside in local databases. That's what we bring to the table," said FBI Special Agent In Charge Craig Fair.

Authorities have not determined whether the recent street robberies were spurred by hate crimes or were violent crimes of opportunity.

Rewards are being offered for information leading to arrests in the two recent attacks.