Congratulations Oakland, California Robbery Capital Of America



MetroPCS store on Oakland's MacArthur Boulevard. 7:45 p.m. Thursday. Store owner Abdullah Qasem is behind the counter when two men in hoodies burst in through the back door.

The men cover their faces with their hands, and one suggests he has a gun.

This is Qasem's first time being robbed, but he knows the drill.

"I put my hands up, and they told me, 'Come down, come down,' I was on the floor doing this," Qasem says, showing how he became spread-eagled on the floor. "One held my head and said, 'Don't look, don't look.' "
The men jerk open the cash register and, in less than a minute, slip into the shadows behind the store.

Police arrive a few minutes later, but the robbers have picked their target well.

"The freeway on-ramp is right around the corner. They're probably halfway to San Francisco right now," Sgt. Jim Rullamas says as police officers look for clues.

Another night in the robbery capital of America.

No city had more robberies per capita than Oakland in 2012. According to new federal statistics, Oakland had 10.9 robberies per 1,000 residents. And 2013 is shaping up to be even worse.

The trend defies easy explanation. So far this year, crime, as a whole in Oakland is stagnant. Shootings are down. Homicide has dropped by 13 percent.

But robberies are up. A lot. There have been more than 3,800 robberies in the city in 2013, a 24 percent jump compared with this time last year. If the rate continues, robberies will have jumped 82 percent from 2010 to 2013.