Thief Confesses To Police

Jon Harnmuanphongs

An armed robbery at a Walgreens on Feb. 21 has led to the arrests and confessions of a man and a woman who were suspected of being connected to the recent string of armed robberies in Hayward.

“A confession made after a waiver of Miranda rights is good, but it is not sufficient enough to solidify a case,” said Lt. Roger Keener of the Hayward Police Department. “There are numerous reasons why a subject would want to admit to a crime they didn’t actually commit. Subsequently, physical evidence, witness and victim statements and identification of the suspect by witnesses and victims is still a crucial component to a successful prosecution.”

It is not known why the suspect even spoke with the police without an attorney present. It is a person’s right to stay silent and not speak to police, and to only speak to the police with an attorney present.

The Pioneer spoke with an attorney in Oakland to find out why a person would want to speak to the police, let alone confess to crimes without an attorney present.

“Some people confess to crimes for a number of reasons,” said Richard J. Baskin, an personal injury attorney.

“Sometimes they’re scared or excited. They may be a young person. They don’t know they have a right to an attorney. They may not be too bright. They may not have a lawyer or even know about lawyers,” said Baskin.

As previously reported, there have been a series of similarly commissioned armed robberies in and around Hayward since November 2010. Victims at each of these robberies all provided similar descriptions of the suspect.

The male suspect was generally described as a light skinned black male in his early to mid 20’s, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds. Victim reports also noted a distinct mole, birthmark or discoloration on the left cheek of the suspect.

“Whatever that mark is on the left side of their face is very distinctive,” said Keener. “We are not sure if it is a mole, a birthmark or a discoloration. The height and weight has varied, with a 3-inch variation in height, and 20-30 pounds in weight. The differentiations could be related to lighting, clothing and position related to the witnesses.”

At 8:55 p.m., Hayward Police received a call for a robbery that had just occurred at the Walgreens pharmacy at 164 W. Jackson Street.

Niluftha Khan, the store manager who called the police for assistance, mentioned that the employee who was held up was extremely shaken and distraught.

“It’s dangerous,” said Khan when asked about her thoughts on the crime that occurred in her store. “She [the employee] was pretty scared.”

Investigators cite a gold Buick involved in the incidences.

“The victim identified the male as the suspect who had just robbed the Walgreens store at gunpoint,” said Lt. Keener. “During an interview with the male suspect, he confessed to the eight robberies he committed in Hayward.”

The Pioneer asked Hayward Police what else they had besides the confession.

“The physical description of the male is close enough to what was provided by victims to lead us to believe the suspect we have in custody is probably responsible for our string of robberies,” said Lt. Keener.

The Pioneer also asked police to what level of involvement was the female suspect had to the crime.

“The female is currently charged with one count of 211 PC/ Robbery,” said Lt. Keener.

The police at this time have not released the name or photos of the suspects since there are several other Bay Area agencies involved in these investigations and releasing this information would compromise their respective cases.