Charles Brown and Lonnie Beard – Unsuccessful Robbers; Accomplices Escape with Loot
Photo: Charles Brown
SAN LEANDRO — Their names are Charles Brown and Lonnie Beard. Here is their recent tale of an unsuccessful robbery attempt.
Law enforcement arrested the jewelry store robbery suspects after their getaway car crashed in heavy freeway traffic. Meanwhile, three additional suspects who fled with the loot in another getaway car have remained at large. “This is an ongoing investigation,” San Leandro police Lt. Isaac Benabou said in a prepared statement.
How it Went Down
John’s Jewelers, located at Bayfair Center at 1555 East 14th Street, was robbed on May 24. Four persons dressed in black, wearing masks and hoods, entered the store at about 1 p.m. All four jumped over a glass display case and assaulted two employees.
One of the suspects then smashed open the display case with a bolt cutter, while the other suspects watched the frightened employees. In less than a minute, they fled with jewelry estimated to be worth as much as $20,000, according to police.
A witness watched the suspects leave Bayfair Center in a waiting car and provided a description. Police located the getaway car traveling on a freeway into Oakland.
The driver, 19-year-old Lonnie Beard of Antioch, accelerated while an unmarked police car pursued him. He crashed while attempting to exit from the freeway.
A police sergeant held three individuals at gunpoint when they attempted to run away from the disabled vehicle. After assisting units arrived, Beard was taken into custody, along with his passengers – 20-year-old Charles H. Brown of Oakland, and an unidentified juvenile.
On May 29 the Alameda County District Attorney’s Officer charged Beard and Brown with robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime. In addition, Beard also faced evading a police officer while disregarding public safety, hit and run, and resisting arrest charges.
Where’s the Loot?
When police checked the disabled car they did not locate the stolen jewelry. Further investigation of video surveillance camera recordings at the shopping center revealed that there was a second getaway car involved in the heist—carrying three additional suspects who apparently got away with the loot—presumably not for long.