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Just a few weeks ago, 12 people were shot and three killed within a 24-hour period in Oakland. It’s a snapshot of a difficult reality that some residents are facing there - which includes robberies being up 30 percent from this time last year. Even in traditionally safer neighborhoods like Rockridge, residents are scared to go out at night.
A couple of years ago, Sonny Le and his five-year-old son were approaching their front gate in Oakland’s Glenview neighborhood after school when Le saw two men running towards them.
“One was trying to go behind us – the maneuver trying to corral your prey, basically,” he says. “The other one started coming right at me, at us. He put his hoodie on. It was like, OK, these kids gonna rob us.”
At around 10 o’clock on a brisk spring morning in Oakland Hills, Danny Cieloha and Esther Fong walk along Davenport Avenue wearing bright orange vests with a neighborhood watch logo and carrying cell phones, in case they need to snap a picture or call for help. They’re looking for “anything that's unusual,” says Fong.
“Things like young men out of their cars, walking the neighborhood,” adds Cieloha.