by Anneli Rufus
The stocky young gunman looks incongruous standing before bags of foam packing "popcorn" and a rack stocked with merry greeting cards. Happy Birthday! Get Well Soon! Yet the camera at Jack London Mail on 3rd Street in Oakland caught him at 4:10 p.m. yesterday, red baseball cap firmly in place (bill forwards, not back), gun in a right hand held close to his long white T-shirt.
The woman working at the store which sells stamps, bubble wrap, and other postal essentials alerted members of her Jack London Square-area neighborhood-watch group via email: "I was robbed at gunpoint today. ... The police were incredible and arrived within minutes and we did get a video of the event that clearly shows the robber and his gun. Please take care out there."
Posting the picture at the group's web site, the victim mused: "He almost looks Hispanic in the photo, but he's Asian. ... Upon leaving my store the perp hopped into [a] silver SUV which headed down Alice towards 880. ...
"I'm only short $320, so I should be fairly happy not to have lost more money, nor more importantly was I hurt. ... I was dumbstruck that I was being robbed. I focused on his initial question asking me if I was hiring. Oh yeah, and I want all your money. Sure, no problem except that I don't have any! Until I see the gun and suddenly it occurs to me that I have the till. Unfortunately for the robber, most of our sales are [via] credit card.
"We all can take a deep breath together and say a few words of peace for the 23 murder victims in Oakland this year that weren't so lucky."