El Cerrito murder suspect was part of a prolific carjacking crew responsible for at least two dozen robberies around Bay Area, police say

El Cerrito murder suspect was part of a prolific carjacking crew responsible for at least two dozen robberies around Bay Area, police say

OAKLAND — A city resident recently arrested in connection with an El Cerrito homicide is also under investigation for alleged involvement in a Bay Area robbery crew responsible for at least two dozens heists, a kidnapping, and multiple shootings.

Malachi Cox, 21, of Oakland, was arrested earlier this month in Citrus Heights, on suspicion of murdering 18-year-old Sincere Martin, a former De Anza High and El Cerrito High school football player. Contra Costa prosecutors have not yet reviewed the case against Cox and decided whether to charge him, but he remains jailed on suspicion of violating his parole for a prior conviction, court records show.

But while Cox remains behind bars, police in two counts are investigating his possible connection to not just Martin’s homicide but a group responsible for eight carjackings and a string of robberies around the East Bay.

Police have identified at least three suspected members of the group, all young men in their teens or early 20s, who were linked through surveillance footage, digital evidence, and a similar modus operandi: In many of the carjackings, the robbers will use already-carjacked vehicles to box in the new victim while a gunman exits one of the cars, forces them out of their vehicle at gunpoint, and drives off in a caravan, according to police.

The crimes include a suspected kidnapping in Oakland on April 21, where the victim was robbed of credit cards, as well as an April 20 shooting outside an Oakland bank on Fruitvale Avenue where a woman was shot in the leg after cooperating with the robbers and handing over her money, according to police. A ballistics test showed that the gun used to shoot that woman was also used three days later, in the fatal shooting of Martin in El Cerrito, authorities say.

Police say that Cox and two other suspects were seen with two of the carjacked cars, and that Cox was identified in surveillance footage attempting to use the April 21 victim’s credit cards. For now, Alameda County prosecutors have only filed parole revocation charges against him while the investigation continues.

In Contra Costa County, Cox is set to go before a judge for a parole revocation hearing in June, court records show. It is expected that the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office will review the evidence in the homicide case next month.

Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/05/25/el-cerrito-murder-suspect-was-part-of-a-prolific-carjacking-crew-responsible-for-at-least-two-dozen-robberies-around-bay-area-police-say/

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