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CHP stings in Oakland lead to 'significant jump' in arrests, firearms seized

Shomik Mukherjee, The Mercury News on

Published in News & Features

The California Highway Patrol’s crackdown on crime in Oakland’s streets has now netted several hundred arrests across numerous undercover sting operations, per new state data released Wednesday.

On the orders of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Bay Area division of the state law-enforcement agency has now arrested 355 people, recovered 726 stolen vehicles and seized 46 firearms linked to crimes, according to the data.

That’s five times as many arrests and recovered vehicles — plus ten times as many seized firearms — as what an initial five-day CHP surge in Oakland yielded back in February.

Diana Crofts-Pelayo, a spokesperson for the state’s Office of Emergency Services, called the numbers a “significant jump” in an email announcing the data.

The CHP has not indicated the nature of the arrests or more specific details about the sting operations.

A news release from Newsom’s office in March linked arrests at the time to a broad range of crimes, including motor vehicle theft, transportation of narcotics, felony gun possession and driving under the influence.

“Carjackers, drug traffickers and thieves need to be arrested and held accountable for their crimes,” Newsom said in a statement in April. “The state will continue to support local law enforcement in Oakland and across California to effectively combat criminal activity and hold perpetrators accountable.”

The agency’s steady operations in Oakland have been part of a broader push by Newsom to become more involved in the city’s affairs due to its persistent crime problem.


In late March, the governor ordered the CHP to install a network of 480 surveillance cameras on major East Bay roadways, partly in an effort to target freeway shootings in the region.

Oakland has seen encouraging downward trends in violent crime so far in 2024, with crimes investigated as homicides down 18% through May 19 compared to the same period of time last year.

Robberies were also down by 3%, motor vehicle thefts by 12% and burglaries by 52% as of May 19 from year-to-date totals in 2023.

Oakland’s leaders say overall progress on the crime front is a byproduct of their renewed investment in the city’s Ceasefire strategy, a violence-interruption program that declined during the pandemic.


(Staff writer Jakob Rodgers and Rick Hurd contributed reporting.)

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