A Pleasanton couple are recovering and searching for answers after they were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight outside of their house on Saturday.
The husband and wife told the Weekly on Tuesday that they don't know why they were targeted by armed teenagers seconds after pulling into their driveway following an afternoon shopping trip, leaving the Asian American couple bruised and their neighborhood "frightened."
"We really want to find out why ... Because we were Asian? Did they follow us home?" she said. "And how can we prevent this sort of thing from happening?"
"Pleasanton always seemed to be a safe city," he added. "We never thought this kind of thing could happen here."
The couple spoke to the Weekly on condition of anonymity for privacy reasons as victims of a serious crime.
They also praised police for making quick work of the initial investigation, arresting three teenagers for the crime that day after the stolen credit cards were used in nearby San Ramon.
"We would like to thank Pleasanton and the San Ramon Police Department for a job well done, for catching the robbers in only a couple of hours," the husband said.
Pleasanton police Sgt. Marty Billdt said officers are still investigating the circumstances of why the couple were targeted, but as of Tuesday, "There was no indication this crime was racially motivated."
The two adult arrestees -- Michael Walker III, 19, of Richmond; and Raymond Davis III, 18, of San Pablo -- have been arraigned in court on counts of second-degree robbery and firearm-related charges. The case status against the 17-year-old boy who was also arrested remains unconfirmed because it is a juvenile case, but the initial investigation indicates he was one of the robbers in the driveway and not the getaway driver, according to police.
It is unclear whether Walker, Davis and the juvenile are represented by attorneys.
The situation unfolded around 1 p.m. Saturday when the couple pulled into their driveway in a neighborhood near Ken Mercer Sports Park after a shopping trip.
The couple told police that an unidentified Black man dressed in dark clothing opened the driver's door and threatened the husband with a gun, demanding his wallet, while another Black male grabbed the wife by the arm as she stood outside the back passenger seat to unload the shopping bags, according to a probable cause statement written by Officer Rudy Granados.
The robbers stole the husband's wallet (including cash, credit cards and his COVID-19 vaccination card), the wife's smartwatch and jacket, and their shopping bags, according to Granados. During the encounter, the man's leg was injured after his foot slipped off the brake and the car rolled forward.
The robbers ran toward a nearby vehicle, which had a getaway driver, and then fled the scene. Shortly after the crime, the husband's credit cards were used at Target in San Ramon, resulting in fraud alerts via the victim's accounts, according to the officer.
San Ramon police officers soon obtained surveillance footage of the suspects, and the victims were able to identify two of the individuals as the culprits who attacked them, according to Granados. SRPD officers located the vehicle in question on Bollinger Canyon Road just after 2:30 p.m. and detained the three teenage occupants.
Granados reported they found the victims' wallet, credit cards, jacket, watch, vaccination card and other items inside the vehicle, along with a firearm in plain view that was fully loaded and had serial numbers partially scratched out.
The three occupants were placed under arrest and booked into custody. Investigators allege Walker was the armed suspect, the 17-year-old was the other robber in the driveway and Davis was the getaway driver.
The two adults have been charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. Details about the 17-year-old case have not been revealed due to his age.
Billdt told the Weekly on Monday that there was no evidence one way or the other at this point as to why the victims were targeted, including whether they had been followed home from the store.
"We don't know," the husband said. "We really want to find out from the police ... how they picked us as a target."
He praised the police officers' "courtesy and professionalism," as well as the thorough initial investigation and arrests, for making "a difficult thing a little bit easier." The couple cited strong support from their neighbors as well.
They also said they hope to work with their community, police or the city to find solutions to deter such serious crimes near their home, describing possible options like a dedicated neighborhood watch group, speed bumps to slow quick getaways or gating off Sports Park lots after dark.
"I feel we need to do more to keep the community safe," he said. "We all need to work together to solve these sort of problems in the future."