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Bratton Report Urges Oakland Police To Focus On Solving Robberies

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- A newly-released report by law enforcement expert William Bratton urges the Oakland Police Department to make solving property crimes, such as burglaries, a priority.

The report, obtained by KPIX 5 on Wednesday, comes as Oakland is dealing with the highest robbery rate in the nation, according to the FBI. Last year, the city recorded an average of 12 robberies and 3 burglaries a day.

Bratton and his group found that Oakland Police assigned only one part-time investigator last year to solve more than 10,000 burglaries.

Fed up neighbors said that is why Oakland has one of the highest burglary and robbery rates in the country.

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Read The Bratton Report (.pdf)
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"I'm more than amazed, I'm shocked," Robert Ma, an Oakland business owner told KPIX 5. "This is crazy. This is ridiculous. That's why the criminals continue to do what they are doing."

The Bratton team wants the department to create a burglary unit in each of the city's five districts.

"Burglaries have gone up through the roof, and it's got to be stopped," said William Andrews of the Bratton Group, "And the way to do it to assign burglary investigators and hunt down those burglars."

They called robberies and burglaries quality of life issues that warrant more attention. The group also recommends more community policing.

Ma, who owns Woody's Café, agreed with the report's recommendation. Last year, two gunmen held up his business and robbed his customers.

"Very upsetting, that hurt business," Ma recalled.

Burglars broke into Luis Hernandez's home twice in March. Hernandez said surveillance cameras recorded the burglaries, but officers never came back to pick up the footage.

"Frustrating, knowing the evidence is there, that they don't care about our safety," Hernandez told KPIX 5.

Both Hernandez and Ma believe the new strategy is better than what is currently in place. They are cautiously optimistic about the plan, because the city doesn't know where it will get the officers to man the proposed burglary units.

"That's a good start. How its' going to pan out remains to be seen," Ma said.

Among the other recommendations by Bratton include more supervision for crime scene technicians, better evidence collection and more surveillance cameras in commercial districts.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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