SAN LEANDRO (KRON) — San Leandro police are looking for a man they said robbed five convenience stores or gas stations in the East Bay in the past two weeks, police said.
The first robbery happened at 5:25 a.m. Dec. 21 at a 7-Eleven at 13792 E. 14th St. The second and third occurred at 3:28 a.m. and 3:45 a.m. at 7-Elevens at 1126 Davis St. and 1240 Manor Blvd.
The suspect was originally robbing only 7-Elevens from 3:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
But the suspect at 7:35 a.m. today robbed a Valero gas station at 111 E. 14th St. in San Leandro, according to police.
The suspect is also responsible for robbing a 7-Eleven at 3:34 a.m. on Christmas Eve at 1988 167th Ave. in unincorporated San Leandro.
He also robbed a Valero gas station at 4:35 a.m. Wednesday at 605 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek, police said.
Officers are describing the suspect as a slender Asian or Hispanic man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, and in his 20s or 30s.
The suspect has worn a black hooded sweatshirt and a ski mask or bandana. He wears jeans and puts the hood up on the sweatshirt, police said.
Video footage shows the man with a high-caliber, semi-automatic handgun, which officers believe is real.
“The frequency of robberies has increased, leading us to believe that he is desperate for the cash,” police Lt. Robert McManus said.
“Unfortunately, he is armed with a firearm and our fear is that he may become violent.”
In many of the robberies, the suspect goes into the store when one clerk is working, points the gun at the clerk and tells the clerk to open the cash register, police said.
The suspect has told the clerk to lie on the floor. Video footage has shown the suspect crouching behind counters to hide, according to police.
Police are asking patrons to be aware of the people around them, especially when entering a gas station or convenience store during the early morning hours or at night.
Police recommend staying away from a store if the clerk cannot be seen and to call police if something seems suspicious.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the department’s criminal investigation division at (510) 577-3230.
Bay City News contributed to this report.Click to view slideshow.