CHP Operations in Oakland and East Bay Result in 71 Arrests, 145 Stolen Cars Recovered, Illegal Firearms and Drugs Seized

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Governor Newsom’s increased deployment of state law enforcement in Oakland and the East Bay — including a temporary surge of 120 officers — has resulted in the arrest of 71 suspects, the recovery of 145 stolen vehicles, and the seizure of four crime-linked firearms.

OAKLAND — Following Governor Newsom’s increased deployment and temporary surge of California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers in Oakland and the East Bay, today the CHP announced initial operation milestones including the arrest of 71 suspects, the recovery of 145 stolen vehicles, and the seizure of four crime-linked firearms as part of CHP’s regular and undercover operations.

Suspects were arrested by the CHP for charges including possession of stolen property, auto theft, drug possession, DUI, and felony gun possession, as well as arrests for outstanding warrants. CHP’s apprehensions during these operations include the arrest of the suspect involved in a widely seen video of an East Bay Apple Store smash-and-grab involving the theft of dozens of iPhones. Cases will be referred to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Building on these successful efforts, the CHP will conduct additional unannounced surge operations alongside local law enforcement agencies in high-crime areas in the East Bay to aggressively seek out and apprehend those engaged in criminal activity. In addition to these surge operations, the CHP continues to have an expanded and visible presence in Oakland focused on high-visibility enforcement to deter, investigate, and respond to criminal activity. The CHP currently has 72 officers assigned to the greater Oakland area assisting in this role.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “Through coordinated efforts with local partners and increased deployment, CHP is making a difference and making Oakland and the East Bay safer. With 71 arrests, 145 stolen cars recovered, and illegal firearms and drugs seized, we’re sending a clear message: crime will not go unchecked in Oakland and East Bay neighborhoods. I’m grateful for the men and women of the CHP who are assisting in the local-led effort to turn the tide.”

“These initial surge results show that when we work together, we improve public safety,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “The City of Oakland is grateful for Governor Newsom’s support to boost our local efforts to dismantle criminal enterprises, arrest suspects, and hold them accountable. Crime and violence don’t belong on Oakland’s streets — and the city won’t rest until a sense of safety and security is fully restored.”

“These results underscore our commitment to working with our local partners to advance the safety and security of California’s communities,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “Through additional proactive operations and an increased presence, the CHP will continue to support our allied agencies in the East Bay and across the state to enforce the law and protect the residents of California.”

Between February 5 and February 9, 2024, the CHP conducted a temporary surge operation involving 120 CHP officers working alongside local allied partners including the Oakland Police Department. As it maintains an increased presence in Oakland and the East Bay, the CHP will conduct additional unannounced surge operations alongside local law enforcement agencies in high-crime areas in the East Bay to aggressively seek out and apprehend those engaged in criminal activity.

Today’s announcement is the result of a recent temporary CHP surge operation and increased enforcement focused on combatting auto theft, cargo theft, retail crime, violent crime, and high-visibility traffic enforcement in the East Bay. In addition to increasing CHP’s presence in Oakland and the East Bay, last week the Governor also announced a new partnership between the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Justice, the California National Guard, the California Highway Patrol, and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office (ACDAO) that will result in the deployment of attorneys and resources to boost law enforcement capacity in Oakland and the East Bay to investigate, analyze, and prosecute suspects in violent, property, and serious drug-related crimes.

Crime in Oakland is uniquely rising compared to other urban centers in California. Preliminary reports from Oakland indicate that in 2023, violent crime rose 21%, robbery increased 38%, and vehicle theft increased 45%. Preliminary 2023 data from across the state indicates the opposite trend: crime, including homicides, violent crime, and property crime is down in many jurisdictions. For example, violent crime and homicides are significantly down in Los Angeles, and early data from San Francisco indicate overall crime in 2023 was at its lowest point in the last ten years — other than the year 2020 when daily life and routines were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a close partnership between the Legislature and the Governor, the state has made substantial investments in Oakland and the larger East Bay region to improve the health, safety, and well-being of the community:

California has invested in violence intervention and prevention efforts — including CalVIP. The state has also expanded opportunities for youth by transforming Oakland’s schools into community schools, mandating and funding after-school programs, awarding Oakland grants for youth coaches, establishing targeted college and career savings accounts, and providing tuition-free community college for students at Oakland community colleges. California has also improved community beautification through multiple grants that bolster access to outdoor recreation and the arts and culture. Through small business credit support programs, the state has deployed over $20.7 million to small businesses in Alameda County through IBank’s loan guarantee program and provided multiple equity-focused grants. The state has awarded Alameda County over $919 million in climate-focused grants since 2015. Since 2019, Alameda County has received over $1 billion from the state to boost affordable housing and over $200 million to address homelessness directly.

In August 2023, the Governor announced a partnership with the City of Oakland to deploy CHP officers within the city and loan up to $1.2 million to improve public safety in Oakland. Following the Governor’s directive, CHP increased its presence in Oakland — arresting 100 suspected criminals and recovering 193 stolen vehicles. Across the Bay, the CHP’s special operation in San Francisco has resulted in over 460 arrests, 5,263 citations, and the seizure of over 18.1 kilograms of fentanyl.

California has invested $1.1 billion since 2019 to fight crime, help locals hire more police, and improve public safety, including in the East Bay. Last month, Governor Newsom called for new legislation to expand criminal penalties and bolster police and prosecutorial tools to combat theft and take down professional criminals who profit from smash and grabs, retail theft, and car burglaries. In 2023, as part of California’s Real Public Safety Plan, the Governor announced the largest-ever investment to combat organized retail crime in state history, an annual 310% increase in proactive operations targeting organized retail crime, and special operations across the state to fight crime and improve public safety.

B-roll footage of CHP’s operations is available for download and use by the media here.