This account from the victim of a recent evening robbery aka a warning to the rest of us has been making the rounds today on neighborhood-watch sites.
"We were walking out of the Townhouse restaurant," a woman wrote. "On Doyle we turned the corner at 59th. ... There were five of us, three women, two men. Thought we were safe in a group with two tall men. But we all became very small in the face of a gun pointed at us. Two African American men in their 20s. One called the other Omar. Jumped out of their car and approached us. No story ... just gun straight out ... 'Give me your $$ or I'll shoot you.'
"At that corner there is a group of redwoods and no street light even though the other three corners of the intersection are quite bright. The trees create much shadowing and it seemed very calculated on the part of the robbers to intervene at that dark area ... as if they were waiting for us (or anyone) to come out of the restaurant. ... None of us saw the vehicle" from which the robbers sprang "because we were behind the trees - it blocked our view of where they stopped their vehicle on the street. When they fled they told us to turn around and walk the other way (back towards Doyle). Then a short distance away at 59th and Beaudry they also robbed a woman on the corner who was on her way to the Amtrak station. We heard her cries but [dared] not move forward to help her until we knew the car had gone. Took her purse and computer. She saw the car and said it was a van of sorts maybe blue or teal.
"The Emeryville police came quickly, within a few minutes (5?), went off looking, actually chased a vehicle for a while near Adeline but had to slow down because of kids on bikes in the street" and lost sight of the suspected getaway car.
The victim's advice? "Stay alert (we had just had a big meal and wine); take only what you absolutely need out with you in the way of $$/cards. ... If you can possibly ... focus on faces, try to do that for ID purposes. Also car make/model etc." During a robbery, she admits, typically the "brain freezes and all eyes are on the gun and where its pointed."