Shards of glass covered the floors of Northern California’s largest African-American weekly just hours after they were robbed.
“It’s obvious this person knew the building because they went straight to our office and they went straight to the office upstairs,” said Paul Cobb, publisher of the Post News Group.
The building manager said surveillance video shows a man breaking into the building at 12:48 a.m. Two hours later, two suspects are said to have returned inside the building.
According to Cobb, approximately $10,000 in property was stolen.
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“A few personal items, a collection of coins, and this rare collection of what’s called ‘Blacks on the Money.’ I had a collection of dollars,” Cobb said.
Luz Pena: “Do you think this is retaliation for stories your team worked on?”
Paul Cobb: “I hope not. I don’t know what to think.”
In 2007, Oakland Post reporter Chauncey Bailey was killed on his way to work in retaliation for his local investigative journalism.
Two weeks ago, the newspaper commemorated Bailey on the front page of the post office after Oakland named a street after him.
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“I hope there’s no connection, but you never know,” Cobb said.
One floor above the Oakland Post office is the non-profit organization OCCUR. They were also robbed.
“Knowing that we’re not doing anything but trying to help and trying to give and be there for the community. It’s very distressing and disheartening,” said Sondra Alexander, Occurs interim executive director.
Still shaken, Sondra Alexander showed us around the ransacked office. She said a stack of checks was stolen. This morning she checked their bank account and noticed that over $3,000 was missing. Oakland police officers were on hand to take fingerprints.
“I hate to say it because I’m a native, born and raised and I love Oakland. It’s my home but I’m very distressed right now. Because I don’t feel safe at all. In fact, we are two doors down from the store that was robbed and where the Channel 4 man (security guard) was murdered,” Alexander said.
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Cobb said they were using this crime as an opportunity to report more on helping the community find jobs.
“We are going to have to roll up our sleeves more and we are committed. We have an edition of the newspaper which we are going to release tomorrow and tonight we are a little behind but we are going to have a little story about our own break-in and a short story about the police graduation. Where we work side-by-side with the police. Now we’re going to do a job-hunting series,” Cobbs said.
Oakland Police are investigating the theft.
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