Four people have been charged with stealing at least 27 firearms from a Bay Area gun store on a night in May when thousands of people took to the streets to protest police brutality.
Dashawn Taylor, Anthony Craft Jr., Tyronza Hampton Jr. and a fourth person whose name is still sealed because they have not been arrested were indicted Monday for the theft May 31 at Richardson Tactical in Hayward, federal prosecutors said in a statement.
“My office stands in support of all Americans exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceable assembly and speech. But we will also investigate and seek justice for those who use the cover of lawful protests to break the law," said Northern District U.S. Attorney David Anderson.
In a partially unsealed indictment, the grand jury also charged Taylor with possession of a stolen firearm and Craft with being a felon in possession of a firearm. It was not immediately known if the suspects have attorneys who can speak on their behalf.
Prosecutors said Taylor was arrested a week after the burglary when he was in a vehicle that crashed while “fleeing the scene of a shooting” in Oakland. Police found him with a gun that had been stolen from Richardson Tactical, court documents showed. Authorities later identified him as a burglar who’d pulled his mask down in front of a surveillance camera,the East Bay Times reported.
Authorities say evidence against Craft includes photos posted on Instagram that show him pointing two pistols at a camera. The guns were the same types of pistols stolen from the shop, including one — a P365 SAS model — that is new to the market and not yet in wide circulation, prosecutors said.
Hampton was identified by his hand tattoos, which authorities allege match tattoos of one of the burglars. He was also identified as the owner of a gold Buick sedan that was seen on surveillance footage driving up to the burglary and leaving afterward, authorities said.