UPDATE: Five Arrested in Series of 15 Armed Robberies

Four Newark men were arrested Aug. 25 in Newark in connection with a series of 15 armed robberies. A fifth Newark man was arrested by U.S. marshals in Hayward on Aug. 31.

Police have released the names of five Newark men arrested in connection with a series of 15 armed robberies at gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants spread throughout southern Alameda County.

Last Thursday, Fremont investigators and SWAT units from multiple police agencies, including Newark and Union City, . 

Andrew Heilman, 18; Omare Murphy, 18; Roger Perez, 18; and Orlando Zendejas, 20, were arrested during the Aug. 25 raid on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy, among other charges. According to online court records, Zendejas also faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

The suspects’ names were not released until a fifth Newark man, 19-year-old Walter Simmons, was arrested by U.S. marshals Wednesday morning in Hayward, said Det. William Veteran of the Fremont Police Department. Simmons was also arrested on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.

Simmons was believed to be the only suspect still at large, Veteran said.

According to Veteran, the quintet is believed to be responsible for a number of armed robberies, including five that took place in Fremont, four in Newark, three in Hayward and one each in Milpitas, San Leandro and Union City. Two of the robberies occurred at Wingstop restaurants in Hayward and Fremont.

In each robbery, the suspects were armed with a shotgun and covered their faces with red bandannas and ski masks, Veteran said.

They are also believed to have been involved in a Newark home burglary where eight firearms were stolen, police said.

Simmons is expected to be arraigned at the Fremont Hall of Justice at 2 p.m. Thursday. Perez and Heilman scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 6 and Zendejas is to be arraigned on Sept. 7.

Heilman, Perez and Zendejas were booked into Santa Rita Jail, and Simmons was in custody at Fremont Jail as of Thursday morning. There was no court or booking information available for Murphy as of Thursday morning.

Bail is set at $50,000 for Perez and $890,000 for Zendejas. Bail amounts for the Heilman, Murphy and Simmons have not been set.

Nadja Adolf September 08, 2011 at 11:10 PM
You can find the city council agendas and minutes at: http://www.newark.org/departments/city-managers-office/agendas-and-minutes/ You can find when the city council meets at: http://www.newark.org/departments/city-council/ If more of us speak up and vote out incumbents who fail to perform, things can and will change. If we remain silent, and keep voting for those who fail to address problems, things will only continue to deteriorate. This is one reason I am opposed to the new housing developments; the city can't serve the existing neighborhoods, so how can they expect to serve additional areas?
Nadja Adolf September 08, 2011 at 11:10 PM
If you can't make it tonight, get people together for the next meeting.
Mona Taplin September 09, 2011 at 12:26 AM
No I'm not of course, but I don't think insulting someone who writes an opinion will do nothing except make these people more angry and thus potentially more dangerous.
Mona Taplin September 09, 2011 at 12:38 AM
You have already taken the first step by speaking up, as have others in your neighborhood. Now you can call, write, or go to the public City Council Meeting and thank them for the job just done by the various police departments, then ask for continuing service in your area to rid it of gangs and drug dealers. Get as many of your other neighbors to do the same. ONE person can't do it all. If your neighbors want their neighborhood back they have got to speak up where it counts. There is only so much anyone can do when people are charged but not convicted, but once convicted make it clear you want changes made so it can't happen again. Don't wait for that conviction,- start NOW. There are a lot of us who will back you because we want an end to the problem in our city too. If you read the news you will find many near by cities are facing the same kind of problems we are with increased gang formations and drug dealing.Anyone who has been to active Neighborhood Watch meetings in our city or any other is well aware there is no pretense problems don't exist. Keep pointing a finger at the problems and be willing to stand up for putting an end to this kind of destructive activity.
Donnie Brasco September 09, 2011 at 01:31 AM
Well that's your opinion, I think you give them too much respect and it should be the other way around. "These" people want to intimidate you, scare you, and it seems they accomplished that with you.
Mona Taplin September 09, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Well if you are referring to me Donnie, you are welcome to your opinion but I prefer to stick to facts instead of insults.
Donnie Brasco September 09, 2011 at 05:05 PM
I don't see how that's an insult at all. You might be taking it the wrong way, but it is what it is. Trying to be soft with these guys actually worsens the situation. It's just a bunch of knucklehead kids trying to impress their friends and earn respect through felonious acts. And BTW, you have not provided any facts, only opinions.
Mona Taplin September 09, 2011 at 05:15 PM
I might be a little soft on Jeremy who obviously is hurting and worried about his brother,- but never on the punks who commit the crimes. That's one of the sad parts of criminal activity. Among the victims is often other members of the thugs family and that's especially true if the criminal has children.
jeremy510 September 09, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Aha. Oh wow now you wanna correct me on my spelling I can care less bout how dumb you think i am. I also can care less about your opinions. I'm still just a youngster. You guys could believe whatever you want we all got our opinions, I have mine you got yours. You could believe the newspaper and media all you want. Can't speak about something you really know nothing about. I Don't know anything about it, But i know the news doesn't either.
Donnie Brasco September 09, 2011 at 06:24 PM
@Mona Yeah, that's the concept these little criminals can't seem to digest. The ones that suffer for their crimes the most are family members. I apologize though, if you felt insulted by my comments, it was never my intention.
Mona Taplin September 09, 2011 at 10:10 PM
A few years ago the police impounded an old car in a neighbors driveway because it wasn't currently registered. They put the ticket on it while it was parked in the street. He moved it into his driveway without registering it. After a certain length of time they did tow it away. Had he parked it in the back yard out of sight they couldn't take it. Also around a year ago another old car without current registration was ticketed. The owner either didn't see the ticket or it was ignored, and they impounded his car too. It's an expensive deal to get those cars back. Someone told me the police only act on things like that if someone complains but I don't know if that's true or not, but they do apparently have to give the owner a certain amount of time to comply
Nadja Adolf September 10, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Jeremy, what worries me the most is that you are not stopping to think that just maybe your brother did something wrong.
Mona Taplin September 10, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Jeremy, you sound to me like a young man who really cares about your brother and friends. I'm sure that being awakened from sleep surounded by police banging down doors must have been a terrifying experience for you and the rest of your family. You say that you don't know what happened, and I'll admit all I know is what I've read in the paper and here on Patch. What I'm worried most about is that you who are feeling the worry, hurt and frustration about this incident will respond in anger and wind up in trouble yourself. I hope with all my being that won't happen so you can go on to lead a good life whether your brother is or is not found guilty of a crime.
jeremy510 September 10, 2011 at 04:31 AM
Yeah, Im only 19 and i care bout my friends and family unlike most people i've done time before and learned from my mistakes. But the police shot my door, smashed out my windows, broke down my fence, and threw flash grenades into my house. I have little children in my house they messed my whole house that aint nothing little kids have to go threw. Did they put that into the news dont think so had my whole family outside in cuffs dont think so. But my brother was just got involved with the wrong person gotta really know who your friends are.
Mona Taplin September 10, 2011 at 05:44 AM
Jeremy I'm glad you learned from your mistakes. That's a major step in the right direction. You can set a good example for those little ones in your house so they can have a good future ahead of them. My best wishes go to you in your quest for better times. The way I understand it usually in a raid like this everyone gets handcuffed mainly to help insure everyone's safety. Good luck to you and those little ones.
jeremy510 September 10, 2011 at 05:25 PM
Thanks Mona I appreciate it.
Mona Taplin September 11, 2011 at 04:32 AM
Paul, there are several learning disabilities that make it difficult to learn to spell. On the other hand, not so many years ago when a friends son was in grade school he brought home a spelling list. He was to write each word a few times and learn for the next day's class. Among them were these words,- sent home by his teacher. rember, and trembul. No, I'm not kidding. When a complaint went to the teacher she said her Aid had printed out the spelling word list and she would see to it that it didn't happen again. A few days later he came home with another list containing the word yogrut. Remember all the cntroversy about making sure teachers could read and write on a third grade level? I hope they are doing better today. And are you aware that many educators feel there is no need to teach spelling anymore? Are you also aware that many educators no longer feel that there is any need for cursive writing to be taught, now that word processors are so readily available to everyone?
anne September 30, 2011 at 07:38 PM
What you did not read in the paper is the police used bullets on the front door.blow out the front windows .Set the backyard on fire.If my boy did not have to use the restroom he could have been severly injured or kiled.Then I am sure that would have made the news.As for his brother he will pay for whatever crimes he committed. I do wonder why the police caused so much damage.When they did not do it to anyone else Some of you better get your facts straight you think some of us are drug dealers then thats like all the middle eastern people who live around us are terriost.Also there are laws that protect all of us from harresment and slander.
Mona Taplin October 01, 2011 at 01:59 AM
Anne, I'm very sorry for the trauma you endured, and I know Jeremy was hurting really bad too. That's the unfortunate reality when one family member is a strong suspect in a serious crime, the whole family winds up suffering. The police were only doing the job they are paid to do. Had they just knocked on the door and asked if the suspect was home there would be a strong chance he still had a gun and a greater tragedy could have happened. The real culprits responsible for this are the people who commited armed robbery. Their victims were needlessly traumatized too. I honestly wish all of you who took no part in drug dealing and armed robberies a better, more peaceful future.
Barry Kane October 01, 2011 at 04:40 AM
sorry no excuse for harming others, ever.
Geoff Burton October 01, 2011 at 05:58 AM
Second that
Anon October 03, 2011 at 03:30 PM
As someone that lives in that neighborhood, the police did what they felt was needed to keep the rest of us innocent neighbors from being victims. I'm sorry they caused so much damage, but honestly, that house looks so much better now, it's no longer daunting to walk on that side of the street.
Mona Taplin October 03, 2011 at 03:55 PM
I agree Aon that sometimes police do what they need to in order to arrest a subject,- and it's really the criminal who brings these things on the rest of the family. i remember a time when someone I knew told the police her son wasn't home when they came with a warrant for his arrest,- while her son went out a back window, over the fence to a friendly neighbors house. More than once this happened. They finally caught him at a family gathering in a public park. His mother was very mad at those awful police for arresting him in such a public place and embarrased all the rest of the familyI'm sure this had to be a very frightening experience for the family you are speaking about, but the illegal activity should have been stopped by any innocent adults there. The suspect is the person to blame for this happening,- not the police.
Anon October 03, 2011 at 04:14 PM
You are exactly right Mona. If all of us neighbors knew there was something not right going on at those houses, how did the adults that lived in them not know?
Mona Taplin October 03, 2011 at 04:40 PM
I know it's extremely hard to tell your children or siblings to straighten up or leave, but when you don't then the rest of the family suffers when the police finally are able to obtain warrants. I do feel bad for the innocent people in that household, especially the younger children, but the police have to do their job any way they can to protect the rest of us. It's really a sad situation all the way round. My hope is that the rest of the family will be able to get their lives back on a good track and set a good example for the younger kids in that household and neighborhood.
Layla February 05, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Let's not forget Kierstan Brown! The driver in all these crimes!
Newarkresident July 02, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Does anyone know where they ended up?
Mona Taplin December 01, 2012 at 10:38 PM
That will take them off the street for awhile anyway.
SAVANAH DUQUE May 02, 2013 at 04:37 AM
I agree with Eric & Mona. This was no mistake, these boys (WHO I AM FRIENDS WITH) have been making poor choices for years, hopefully now they'll learn. I say this because I care. They are all capable of having a better life! And God willing, have someone with firm discipline to teach then right from wrong in the future. Being as that nobody else had taught them.
SAVANAH DUQUE May 02, 2013 at 04:38 AM
Btw Layla, yea lets not forget that she's BEEN out of jail, is working and a mother to be. Gtfoh


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something