OAKLAND -- Police are hoping that a very unusual looking wallet -- with a picture of a 1,000 Mexican peso note on the outside -- will help them track down the killer or killers of a 41-year-old man Friday night in East Oakland.
Rafael Cortes Garcia, a mechanic who worked two jobs, had just arrived at his home in the 3100 block of 13th Avenue, near Highland Hospital, at 7:20 p.m. Friday when he was confronted by at least one armed man, possibly more, police said.
Police investigators believe the men got into a verbal argument before Garcia was shot. Police say the suspect or suspects took his wallet before running away. Medical crews pronounced Garcia dead at the scene.
Oakland police rarely release pictures of items taken during a killing.
"It's not often that we will release a picture of items that are taken in a homicide but because this wallet is very unusual if anyone should happen to come across it, this may be key evidence to the identification and location of the suspect or suspects," said police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson.
Garcia's wife was out of the country at the time of his death and other family members were not available for comment.
The killing was Oakland's 65th homicide of the year but came after a rare week without a homicide. That one week of calm followed one of the worst episodes of sustained violence in Oakland this year when, in early July, seven people, including two teens, were killed
Investigators said they don't yet have a motive for Garcia's killing and no arrests have been made.
The Oakland Police Department and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case. Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the Oakland Police Department's major crimes unit at 510-238-3478 or the tip line at 510-773-2805.