Video: Dozens ransack gas station in flash mob robbery

An Oakland gas station is reeling over the destruction of their business when a flash robbery took over the store. 

The 76 Gas Station & Mini Market on Hegenberger Road was just the latest scene of a chaotic flash robbery early Friday morning. Around 70 people descended onto the gas station around 4 a.m., causing around $100,000 in losses.

Two employees were at the store during the robbery and were threatened, according to the store owner.

Dozens were seen milling around the store looking for things to steal. They pulled drinks from the fridges and others were putting their stolen goods in boxes or baskets that appeared to belong to the store itself.

The owner, Sam Mardaie, said the ordeal lasted around 40 minutes.

He wanted everyone to know what happened to let everyone know how bad things have gotten in this area and he's calling for action from city leaders. 

"This is the hardest thing you could ever go through…especially if you've been put in sweat and tears day in and day out," he said.

According to Mardaie, the business was only serving window service, but the robbers broke in through the front door.

As seen on surveillance video, some robbers climbed over the register to grab more items.

One robber removed a snapback hat hanging on the wall, only to destroy what appears to be a light or camera that the hat rested upon.

Store owners told KTVU that Oakland police responded about nine hours after the robbery. 

In a statement to KTVU, police said they were responding to a sideshow near the airport that had more than 100 vehicles at the scene. 

It's unclear if any arrests were made at that sideshow.

Police said they received and responded to the call about a burglary at a 76 gas station nearby around 90 minutes later and had initially ranked the crime as a Priority 2- meaning no suspects were on scene and that the crime can be reported online. 

It wasn't until they saw video of the robbery that they raised it to a Priority 1 and sent an officer to the scene.

District 7 City Councilmember Treva Reid, who represents the area where the crime happened, said she continues to advocate and work to secure increased public safety resources and response. She urged Mayor Sheng Thao to prioritize her district's demands. 

Mardaie said he would "rebuild and pray" and "hopefully, the right people will hear this message and make the right moves to save the city." 


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