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Alameda Police Try to Cover Up Park Street Armed Robbery

Update: Alameda Police Chief Mike Noonan denies any attempt on behalf of Alameda PD to cover-up news of the story. The headline has been corrected as well – it was an armed robbery.

Acting on a tip regarding a robbery of an Alameda eatery at gunpoint, Action Alameda News initiated a public records request regarding the event with the City of Alameda and the Alameda Police Department. The response from the Alameda Police Department suggests a coverup.

Acting on a tip, Action Alameda News made a public records request to the City of Alameda regarding a robbery at La Penca Azul Restaurant, (a.k.a. La Pinata) during the month of December 2011. Tipsters told Action Alameda News that the restaurant was robbed at gunpoint. The tipster told Action Alameda News at the time that Alameda Police and the City of Alameda were trying to cover-up news of the crime.

In a letter dated January 17th, the Alameda Police Department, on letterhead with Chief of Police Michael Noonan’s name at the top, Yvonne Cropp, Police Records Supervisor wrote that the “emergency 9-1-1 calls are exempt from disclosure per California Public Records Act. Therefore, records will not be produced at this time.”

The California Public Records Act states that if a public agency claims an exemption from a records disclosure, it must cite the applicable exemption in the response. The Alameda Police Department’s response to the Action Alameda News public records request cites no exemption.

The sole record released by the Alameda Police Department reads, “SUS [suspect] entered VAB, brandished a handgun and demanded money from the register. SUS fled on foot with the loss.” The date is noted as December 1, 2011, and the time 10:31 p.m. and the report type as “robbery commercial.” The responding officer was Chad Rech, badge #54.

Action Alameda News has written to the Alameda City Council and Deputy City Manager Alex Nguyen to force the release of applicable public records.

6 comments to Alameda Police Try to Cover Up Park Street Armed Robbery

  • Liz Wms

    Well, this is no mystery. These sorts of things just don’t happen in Alameda. That’s why you are the only Alameda news source reporting on it. You just keep refusing to play by the rules, and you tell the uncomfortable truth no one wants to admit, and the rest of Alameda prefers – strongly prefers – to just avoid these sort of uncomfortable events altogether and focus instead on the “me-too” ice rink just down the street from this extremely dangerous and scary armed robbery which DID NOT HAPPEN in Alameda, because these sorts of things just don’t happen here. See how easy that was?

  • Chief Noonan has contacted me to deny any coverup and has offered to sit down and discuss the case in the coming week.

    Sources are characterizing it as a serious crime that they feel was not reported on because powers-that-be want only good news stories in the paper. As usual, nobody wants to talk on the record for fear of retribution.

  • carol

    “Fear of retribution” by whom? Good luck clearing up anything by sitting down with Chief Noonan & discussing it. It did not work for me. I’m still waiting for him to get back to me about the law that he said trumps the one his officers so obviously broke. Alameda Police should not be defended for stealing my classic truck because they did not like the look of my yard. Memo to Noonan: The Constitution guarantees the right to private property, even in Alameda. If you see something you want, you should not be allowed to declare it “blight” & just take it, as this city has been doing for years!
    Be sure you audio-video record that interview, David!

  • Karen

    Right. Same thing applies to rape. Apparently no one ever gets raped in Alameda, although if you look at the statistics, Alameda had 15 rapes in 2010, or 21.1 per 100,000 people. Yet, I’ve never read of a single one…

  • Various local business people have reported variations on this theme: stir up trouble, and suddenly the fire inspectors are at your place of business, red-tagging things…

  • Michelle

    The crime denial goes very deep. Teens are continuing to mug people on the West end with nary a public warning issued to residents. In order to keep the property values high, city government and the police collude in the cover up and downplay of serious crimes that occur in Alameda.