Shocking video shows dozens ransacking Oakland convenience store

OAKLAND — One Oakland business owner is demanding accountability from the city after dozens of people ransacked his convenience store Friday.

Owner Sam Mardaie said a large mob of people spent about 30 to 40 minutes cleaning out his 76 gas station store at the corner of Hegenberger Road and Edgewater Drive. He said two workers called 911 but he claimed Oakland police showed up nine hours later.

“Everything is destroyed. This is what I feed my family,” he said. 

Mardaie said the thieves came in waves.  He estimates a total of 80 to 100 people took part in the theft. Aside from merchandise, he said they took his cash register and his ATM machine with roughly $22,000 inside.

“Whatever they couldn’t take, they destroyed,” he said.

It happened around Friday around 4:30 a.m. Mardaie said there was a large sideshow in front of his gas station on Hegenberger. The 24-hour store only offered window service at that time.  He says some of the sideshow participants and spectators broke the glass front door to get in and took over the store. He said the two employees ran out for safety.

“It was heartbroken to me.  I walked in here and I was lost for words,” Mardaie said.

He was upset with police for not responding right away after he said his workers called 911.

But Oakland police disputed the timeline, saying they received the 911 call after the thieves had left so it was no longer a priority since officers were handling other active scenes.

“Whatever excuse you give me, it’s not enough for me.  I won’t accept it,” Mardaie said. 

Mardaie took ownership of the gas station last August and, he says, has dealt with a lot of robberies and burglaries. Many businesses along the Hegenberger corridor have shut down, including the popular In-N-Out restaurant.

Mardaie is not ready to give up yet.  He said city leaders have to do better.

Councilwoman Treva Reid represents his district. In a statement, she wrote in part:

This is another devastating attack on and blow to this business and the city at this regional gateway to our city. Due to the impact of crime and violence, our Hegenberger/airport corridor businesses and residents have faced countless challenges and too many closures. I continue to advocate and work to secure increased public safety resources and response, urging the mayor to prioritize our district’s demands.

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