Suspects Arrested in Oakland Carpool Robbery (CA Penal Code 211)

At least 3 persons are suspected of robbing casual carpool lane passengers as they waited in line this week in Oakland’s Rockridge district. Most of the alleged thefts occurred on Hudson Street and were supposedly perpetrated by two men, 22-year-old and 17-year-old (names withheld for privacy).  A third man was questioned in the matter and then released by local law enforcement agents. 20 different waiting persons claim to have been robbed by the 3, who may or may not have used a gun to demand wallets, purses, and any other items of value.

In the state of California, robbery is covered by the state (CA Penal Code 211). Here, in order to prosecute an individual on robbery charges, it must be proven that the property taken did not belong to you, that you took it from another person against their will, and that you used threat or force in order to take the property.  Importantly, the law does not make a distinction between items of differing or lesser value. In other words, an item of very little value could be taken and the charges would remain the same as if an item of greater value.  “Robbery” is also different from “petty theft” (CA Penal Code 484) and from “grand theft” (CA Penal Code 487).

Robbery charges fall into three categories in California, first degree robbery, second degree robbery, and the robbery of multiple victims.  If the suspects arrested in this case are convicted of the robbery of multiple victims, they will be guilty of multiple counts of robbery.  A first degree robbery charge may result in 3, 6, or 9 years in state prison; a second degree robbery charge may result in 2, 3, or 5 years in state prison.