Apple store SUV crash-and-grab in Palo Alto: Nine arrested, one at large, all allegedly Oakland gangsters

Only one of 10 suspects identified so far in a brazen, SUV-aided Palo Alto burglary of an Apple store remains at large.

After picking up four alleged perpetrators the night of the crime in December, officers have now arrested five more people, Palo Alto police said March 8.

All the suspects are allegedly members of an Oakland street gang.

Thieves drove a rented Kia Soul SUV into the 40-foot-tall glass front of the Apple store on University Avenue in the early morning hours of Dec. 4.

“Video surveillance showed that eight to ten suspects had crawled into the store through the hole in the glass and stole a large number of items,” police said in a news release. “All of the suspects were wearing hooded sweatshirts with the hoods up to conceal their identities.”

Officers responding to the break-in found the Kia smashed up on the sidewalk, and then they discovered an abandoned Hyundai Sonata nearby, with “numerous stolen Apple computers and phones strewn on the ground” in the vicinity.

Cops’ search of the surrounding area turned up four suspects, originally reported to be two adults and two juveniles. But, police said, one of the purported juveniles had lied about his age, and after he was taken to Juvenile Hall with the 16-year-old suspect, authorities discovered he was an adult.

“Police promptly transferred 18-year-old Armonie Pugh of Oakland from Juvenile Hall to the Santa Clara County Main Jail,” police said.

The two other adults picked up that night were Shaquin K. Ferguson, 19, allegedly on parole for weapons violations and of no fixed address, and Erica Jaynisha White, 18, of Oakland.

Over the next three weeks, detectives probed the crime, and ultimately identified six more suspects, three of them adults and three of them juveniles, police said.

Of the 10 suspects, nine have now been arrested and jailed or sent to Juvenile Hall, and officers have an arrest warrant for the tenth, police said.

Arrested on suspicion of the crime are Lonnell Turner, 20; Robert Carter, 20; and two 17-year-old boys and a 17-year-old girl, police said. All hail from Oakland, according to police.

The one suspect still at large was named by police as Reginald Ayala, 19, of Oakland.

“Detectives believe all of the suspects in this case are members of a criminal street gang based in Oakland,” police said. “Police are choosing not to identify that gang publicly so as to avoid bringing unnecessary recognition to it.”

An additional one or two suspects is expected to be charged in the case, police said.

Investigators are still trying to determine if the suspects are connected to a number of other thefts at Apple stores in the Bay Area. Between October and early December, Apple stores were hit 11 times by groups of thieves in hoodies who entered and hurriedly swept up electronics as customers and salespeople watched.

 

Photo: The Apple logo (Bay Area News Group files)

 

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  • Makikiguy

    They probably needed computers for their advanced math and science classes.

 
 
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