Insufficient evidence to charge 9 youths for string of East Bay robberies, DA says

Nine youths arrested last month in connection with robberies in Oakland and across the East Bay likely will not be charged with any crimes at this point, but the cases are still under investigation, according to the Alameda County District Attorney.

In a news release posted on Thursday, DA Pamela Price cited a lack of evidence as the reason no charges have been filed and placed the blame at the feet of police.

She said the Oakland Police Department acknowledged to her office's juvenile division charging deputy that there was not enough evidence to identify the suspects to charge any of the adolescents. She also said at this time, no allegations exist that firearms were displayed or used. 

Law enforcement sources told KTVU that the nine juveniles were involved in the assault of a 63-year-old woman outside Rockridge Market Hall on May 21. Police also suspected the minors were connected to a robbery where a woman was held up by two carloads of people on Grosvenor Place in the Trestle Glen neighborhood of Oakland on May 13.

Last month, Oakland police told the public that they had arrested the nine adolescents in connection with at least 35 robberies across the East Bay. Ranging in age from 12 to 17, the group consists of three girls and six boys.

In her public statement, Price also said two adults and three juveniles were arrested in connection with a robbery on May 16, but police did not bring the minors' cases to the DA for charging. Previously, Oakland police had said this group was linked to a spree of at least ten robberies. 

"Many of the details of these incidents being spread by some individuals have been hyperbolic," Price said in the statement. "There was not a string of robberies and there were not dozens of suspects involved. OPD decided there wasn’t enough evidence to charge any of the juveniles. We are still trying to confirm the status of the three adults allegedly arrested for these robberies." 

Oakland police did not immediately respond on Friday to the DA's announcement.

Getting details on juvenile cases is nearly impossible and their charges and arrest records are kept confidential.