A Vallejo man who was shot by a cashier during an East Bay gas station robbery in August has been charged with using a gun to rob that station and a gas station in Berkeley that month, according to court papers.
Edison Small, 39, is being held on $455,000 bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, according to jail records online. A new conviction would be his second strike, according to court papers.
Berkeley police began investigating the case after a man with a gun, wearing a red Washington Nationals hooded sweatshirt, took about $500 from Berkeley Gas and Smog, at 3000 Shattuck Ave. (at Ashby Avenue) on Aug. 9 just before 9:45 p.m., according to court papers. The man had covered his face up to his nose with something like a bandana, police wrote, and wore black gloves that were gray on the palm side.
About a week later, Aug. 18, a man who robbed the Arco gas station at 6407 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland, not far from the Berkeley border, was shot by the cashier. Police found the man, identified as Small, at Kaiser Hospital, BPD wrote in court papers. Investigators noticed immediate similarities in the cases.
“Based on the close proximity of the Berkeley and Oakland robberies (less than a mile), close time frames (within approximately 45 minutes on different days), and because they were both armed robberies that occurred at gas stations, I suspected that Edison Small may be the suspect in the Berkeley Gas and Smog robbery,” a Berkeley police sergeant wrote in charging documents.
Police wrote that Small used the same tactics in both incidents, as per video footage and supplemental police reports. Before each robbery, for example, he sat at a bus stop and watched the activity at each station.
“When customers were gone, Edison Small walked into the gas station, crouched down below the counter to avoid detection from the cashier, and pulled a black pistol that was concealed in his front waistband with his right hand,” police wrote, regarding both robberies. Then, he “jumped over the counter and stood next to the cashier and the register while he held the pistol in his right hand. Small then pointed at the register with his left hand and told the cashier to open the register.”
In both robberies, according to police, Small used his left hand to take the money and put it into his sweatshirt before looking for more valuables in the register.
Police said Small wore the same face-covering in both crimes and that he wore gloves in both incidents, too.
During an Oakland Police Department warrant search Aug. 21 at Small’s home, in which BPD assisted, a BPD officer found a red Washington Nationals T-shirt. The shirt sparked interest because the culprit had worn a similar sweatshirt during both gas station robberies, the officer wrote.
“I asked Small’s wife if he owned a red Washington Nationals hooded sweatshirt and she stated that it was possible because their son was on a minor league baseball team that used the same colors and logo,” according to charging papers. “She stated that they all had shirts and sweatshirts that were red with the Nationals logo.”
Small was arrested at Highland Hospital early on the morning of Aug. 19, several hours after the Oakland robbery. On Aug. 23, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Small with both robberies. According to charging papers, the robberies would be classified as violent felonies, and Small could be sent to prison if he is convicted.
Small has one prior Alameda County conviction listed in court papers, from April 2012, for attempted robbery. He was sentenced to probation in that case, according to the paperwork.
Small is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Sept. 12 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse, according to jail records online.