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Oakland "F--- Everyone" gang members accused of burglarizing dozens of businesses across state

Walnut Creek detective helps authorities zero in on brazen burglary gang
Walnut Creek detective helps authorities zero in on brazen burglary gang 03:30

A string of robberies that targeted businesses across the state including a Walnut Creek Louis Vuitton store and a Concord Discount Cigarettes shop have all been linked to one small gang of alleged smash-and-grab thieves from Oakland.

State prosecutors say it was just a three-man crew affiliated with the so-called "F--- Everyone" gang that allegedly committed all the crimes, including the burglary or attempted burglary of about 20 liquor stores and smoke shops across more than a dozen Bay Area cities.

And those were just the crimes committed locally. Prosecutors accused the same suspects of stealing about $120,000 worth of Chanel purses from a Nordstrom in San Diego.

Authorities noted the gang was proficient at evading police -- including three high-speed pursuits with local law enforcement -- but a Walnut Creek detective was able to help tie the crimes together, resulting in the arrest of one of the gang members.  

The crime spree reads like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster movie, but as Walnut Creek Det. Jenna Kolmeister got into the case, she discovered sometimes facts really are crazier than fiction.

Kolmeister has been with the Walnut Creek Police Department for 16 years. She started as a beat cop and worked her way up.

"I really started liking financial crimes, so I went to detectives and worked the financial crimes desk," she explained.

She ended up on the Contra Costa District Attorney's Safe Streets Task Force. That's how some of the pieces in all these robberies started coming together after a conversation with Concord Police.

"The detective there at the task force was seeing all these cigarette store burglaries that were happening at night. The suspect vehicles were all the same," said Kolmeister.

Then a Louis Vuitton shop in Walnut Creek was targeted in an attempted burglary last October. The suspect vehicles and descriptions matched those in the cigarette store burglaries. That was when she realized the crimes were connected.

"We started really paying attention to anybody who was hitting high-end designer purse stores, high-end designer merchandise stores, and cigarettes," she said. "Because we knew that this crew were targeting the same types of stores."

Over the next few months, Kolmeister and other task force members tracked smash and grabs all over Northern California, from the Peninsula to the Central Valley and up toward Sacramento and even a designer hand bag robbery as far away as San Diego

"It was the same thing every time," Kolmeister said. "The same people every time, the same MO every time, the same vehicles every time."

She says it was as if they thought they'd never get caught.

"A lot of the information we gathered was offered to us by the suspects themselves," Kolmeister explained. "They kind of made it easy for us. Just through social media, YouTube, they made the choice to share information that we ultimately used to hold them accountable." 

Among the posts was a music video Kolmeister said the suspects posted on YouTube that featured a stolen Jeep that was very similar to one involved in a high-speed police chase where the suspects got away.

From start to finish, the entire investigation only took about four months.

"It's fun. It's the most fun job in the world to see that people are taking advantage of others and then chase them," she said.

Right now, one suspect is behind bars. Walnut Creek police say there are warrants out for the arrest of the other two suspects, but they aren't in custody yet.

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