Victim tracks stolen truck to Oakland, waits hours for police response

An auto-theft victim expressed frustration with Oakland police after officers took hours to respond to the location where he tracked his stolen pickup truck.

"I feel like the criminal justice system is failing in California. This is a symptom of it," said the man, who wished to remain anonymous.

Surveillance video showed a Dodge Charger with three occupants pulling up to his Redwood City home around 2 a.m. Wednesday. They made a beeline to his custom Dodge Ram pickup truck parked in the driveway.


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One of the suspects drove away in the victim's truck, maneuvering around a Tesla that was meant to be a barrier.

The victim tracked his stolen truck to a cul-de-sac near 99th Avenue and Plymouth Street in East Oakland. He went to the location at 3:45 a.m.

"That same Dodge Charger that was in front of my house was parked across the street, facing that car. They covered my vehicle with a tarp. But they could only cover the front half of it, so I could see the back of my truck, and I knew it was my truck," he said.

The man called Oakland police several times but was told no officers were available to respond.

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"I’m telling them I can see the truck. I have a tracker. I can remote-start it. I can turn on a light. So they’re saying, ‘Too busy, don’t care,'" he said.

He noticed people on the street looking at him and decided to return to Redwood City.

"There were guys coming out (on) the street. It was like, I could kind of tell it was about to get tense," he said.

He then contacted KTVU at around 7 a.m., prompting the news outlet to call Oakland police. About an hour later, the man received a call from Redwood City police saying that Oakland police had towed his car.

"It wasn’t until the news got involved that things got kicked into high gear," he said.

The Marine Corps veteran said he never expected to be treated this way by law enforcement.

"I gave up like this many years of my life for what? Like that’s how I feel. I come back home, my car gets stolen, and they’re going to do nothing about it," he expressed.

KTVU was present when he went to the tow yard to retrieve his truck.

The man noted damage to his vehicle.

"The alignment’s off, they tore apart the whole driver’s side trying to look for the tracker," he said.

He believes the same Dodge Charger had been casing his home two weeks ago, prompting him to install security cameras and use the Tesla as a buffer.

KTVU spotted the Dodge Charger in the East Oakland neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon.

Now, the man fears the thieves might return for a third time.

"It’s only a matter of time until it happens again. Where is it going to be found next? What are they going to do? How long is it going to take for them to respond?" he asked.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at Follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and