Oakland police arrest 4 robbery suspects, confiscate illegal firearms

Oakland police arrested four robbery suspects and confiscated a number of illegal firearms during an early-morning operation Tuesday. 

Their names and ages were not released.

Oakland police, with help from  Alameda County sheriff's deputies, served arrest warrants at a home in the area of Foster Avenue and Bernhardt Drive, just off Interstate 880 at 98th Avenue.

Police sent out a Nixle alert message at 5:15 a.m. Tuesday to let area residents know that officers would be serving warrants throughout the city as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

The public message said the department wants to "ensure public awareness" and  "enhance the safety and quality of life in our community."   

Officer Felicia Aisthorpe, an Oakland police spokeswoman, said seven guns were seized during the raids and that some of the firearms were illegal. 

Tuesday's arrests and firearms seizures comes a day after the city held a news conference in connection to a 7% increase in violent crime last year.

In 2019, there were 400 more cases of violent crime in Oakland than the year before. 

Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick consulted the San Francisco Police Department in a bid to find solutions to reduce crime rates. 

Homicides were up, but so were other crimes. 

Kirkpatrick said Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, San Leandro, and Piedmont police all saw an uptick in vehicle burglaries and laptop thefts.

To tackle the increased crime, Oakland recently hired anti-violence expert Guillermo Cespedes, who will be the chief of the new Department of Violence Prevention.

The chief said Cespedes helped Los Angeles see a 57% drop in gang-related killings.

Oakland's goal is to reduce homicides by 80% in three years.

Oakland police enter home during early-morning sweep. 

The alert came less than 24 hours after the city held a news conference stating that 2019 saw a 7 percent violent crime increase. Jan. 7, 2019

The alert stated that the department wants to "ensure public awareness" and "enhance the safety and quality of life in our community." However, the alert did not state what the ongoing criminal investigation was about or any other details. Jan. 7, 20