Sat09052015

News

Hilltop robbery suspects implicated in crimes across Bay Area


Special to the Town Crier
Suspects, from left, Gerralle Pryor, 22; Icasiano D. Obana, 26; and Jereme Brown, 28, were arrested May 11. 

Three Oakland men arrested in connection to the home invasion robbery of a Los Altos Hills home earlier this month are known gang members under investigation for countless crimes committed throughout the Bay Area, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office Thursday revealed the names of the suspects: Icasiano D. Obana, 26; Gerralle Pryor, 23; and Jereme Jermaine Brown, 28. Several other law enforcement agencies – including the Oakland Police Department, the Newark Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office – are also investigating the men for crimes such as robbery, drug possession, illegal possession of a firearm and hit and run.

"The Santa Clara County DA's office is now in the process of consolidating all of these cases as the suspects were wanted with so many different law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area," said Rick Sung, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office captain assigned to Los Altos Hills. "Our detectives are going to recommend a gang enhancement charge, which will carry a harsher punishment."

Obana and Pryor are being held on robbery charges without bail at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. Brown is being held on robbery charges without bail at the Santa Clara County main jail in San Jose.

The victim of the Los Altos Hills robbery, a 28-year-old man, was not injured in the incident.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Obana knocked on the door of a home in the 12000 block of Hilltop Drive at approximately 11 a.m. May 11, pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the victim to gain entry to the home. Pryor soon joined Obana and the two men placed a pillowcase over the victim's head and forced him to lead them to valuables located throughout the house. The suspects took jewelry, an iPhone and $60 in cash.

"One mistake that ... Obana, made while he was in the master bedroom closet, was he dropped his handgun – which he did not know at the time," Sung said.

The victim locked the front door and was on the phone with 911 operators when the suspects, presumably seeking Obana's gun, began to break down the door, according to the Sheriff's Office. The victim escaped out a side door and ran down the street, noting a suspicious gray-colored Infiniti SUV with Colorado plates as he fled. With the victim's help, law enforcement officers later identified Brown as the driver of the vehicle.

Sung said Sheriffs' deputies arrived at the home within 4 minutes and 30 seconds of the victim's 911 phone call, and there were 30 law enforcement officers – including four crime scene investigators – on scene within 20 minutes. They established a perimeter on Hilltop Drive from Barley Hill Road to Summerhill Avenue.

"As deputies were responding to Hilltop Drive, they saw a small gray-colored SUV with a Colorado license plate driving away from the crime scene," according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office. "The SUV evaded responding deputies by committing numerous traffic violations, which included driving at a high rate of speed and driving on the wrong side of the roadway. The deputies put out a BOL (be on the lookout) for the suspects and the vehicle."

Oakland police officers spotted the Infiniti in Oakland and pursued it, Sung said. During the chase, a vehicle struck one of the suspects, but law enforcement officials have not indicated which one or the extent of his injuries.

By 2:20 p.m., police officers had apprehended Brown, Obana and Pryor and charged the men in relation to outstanding warrants. The Hilltop Drive victim later identified the suspects from a live line-up and his stolen property from within the Infiniti, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

"I'd like to praise the resident for his bravery and his vigilance," Sung said. "Under such high pressure, his remarkable observation skills -- I truly believe that's what led to the successful outcome of this case."

Some Los Altos Hills residents have speculated the Hilltop robbery and a Sept. 11, 2014, home invasion robbery on Taaffe Road in which the suspects beat a 67-year-old victim, but so far there is not yet evidence indicating the cases are related, Sung said.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office requests anyone with information concerning the suspects or the Hilltop Drive robbery to contact Detective Sergeant Quinones at (408) 808-4500.

Locals: Hilltop and Taaffe robberies could be related


Courtesy of Dr. Manuj Nangia
Family members of Los Altos Hills resident Manohar Malwah, above, believe that the stress of being robbed could have contributed to his fatal heart attack.

The arrest of three suspects connected to last week’s home-invasion robbery in Los Altos Hills has some local residents questioning whether the suspects might be responsible for a similar incident in town last year that may have contributed to the victim’s death.

Oakland Police Department officers arrested the trio in Oakland Monday, but they have not released their names or cities of residence because investigations are ongoing. One of the open investigations relates to the May 11 robbery on the 12000 block of Hilltop Drive.

Read more...

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For a decade it sat behind Los Altos Hills Town Hall, a forgotten relic collecting termites as its neighbors, the skeletons of farm equipment, collected rust.

But thanks to the initiative of town historians, the decorative cupola that once crowned town hall has been rescued from the weeds and restored to a position of prominence outside town hall city council chambers.

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Trail study available for review

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Theft suspect arrested after swiping stolen credit cards

NEWS Arrest Hopkins
Courtesy of Los Altos Police Department
Demetre Hopkins

Los Altos Police arrested last week a 50-year-old San Jose man suspected of stealing a Los Altos resident’s wallet.

The resident reported to police in March that her wallet was missing and had possibly been taken from her unlocked vehicle. Shortly after, she noticed through online banking that her credit cards were being used at several retail locations in the South Bay.

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