Christmas Eve burglars
make off with kids' gifts
After a family woke up Christmas morning to find they had been burglarized, police officers raised $200 to help restore their Christmas spirit.
Officers responded to a home on the 36000 block of Cherry Street around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, where it was discovered that someone had entered on Christmas Eve and stolen gifts under the tree, a computer and jewelry, Sgt. David Lee said.
The family's two young children, ages 9 and 11, awoke to find no presents, police said.
"The parents had spent quite a bit of the money on the gifts. Everyone was pretty devastated," Lee said.
The family had gone straight to bed upon returning home from a party Tuesday night and didn't notice the burglary until the following morning.
The presents were gone and the blinds and a window were open, Lee said.
Police held a meeting after the responding officer returned to the police station, and the six officers on duty raised about $100 for the family. The Newark police officers union matched the money raised dollar per dollar.
"We were able to revive some of their Christmas. They were extremely grateful," Lee said.
Police are still investigating and following up some leads regarding the burglary.
-- Paul Burgarino, Staff
Family of Jahi McMath celebrates
holiday with her at the hospital
In hopes of having as normal a holiday celebration as possible, the entire family of Jahi McMath spent Christmas Day in the waiting room together at Children's Hospital Oakland.
About 15 family members had gathered by Wednesday afternoon, and a tree had been put together, said Omari Sealey, the uncle of 13-year-old Jahi, who suffered cardiac arrest and other complications after a Dec. 9 tonsil surgery that left her brain-dead. She has been on a ventilator since Dec. 12.
There were presents under the tree for Jahi and her siblings, and the family planned to carry on with some of its holiday traditions such as board games, dominoes and playing cards, Sealey said.
"We're trying to make it as normal as possible," he said.
Sealey said the family will wait until later in the week to discuss whether to appeal an Alameda County Superior Court judge's decision this week allowing Children's Hospital to remove Jahi from life support as soon as Monday.
Judge Evelio Grillo ruled that Jahi must be kept on the breathing machine until at least 5 p.m. Dec. 30. The verdict came after hearing testimony from two doctors, one an independent expert appointed by the judge on Monday and the other a 30-year veteran of the hospital. Both testified that the teen is brain-dead and that her body is alive only because of a ventilator hooked up to her since Dec. 12.
The family has continued to ask for prayers for Jahi. Local pastors and churchgoers from around the world have rallied around the family both in person and by offering support through social media.
-- By Paul Burgarino, Staff
Suspect arrested in connection with mall shooting
An 18-year-old man who police say shot into a jewelry store in the West Valley Mall on Friday has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the shooting.
On Tuesday morning, Tracy police detectives and members of the department's SWAT team served a search warrant in the 800 block of Allegheny Court and arrested Lorenzo Hotel of Tracy. He was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail. No one was hit or injured during the shooting and investigators are still trying to identify the intended target.
Anyone with information about the Tracy incident is asked to call 209-831-4847.
-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff