General Crime

* Update-June 28, 2009-Murdered Castro Valley Hydroponics Business Owner Identified by Coroner as Christopher Bolton

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Update-June 28, 2009

A 31-year-old Castro Valley business owner who was fatally shot inside his hydroponics equipment store Friday afternoon has been identified by the Alameda County coroner’s bureau as Christopher Bolton.

A 31-year-old Castro Valley business owner was fatally shot inside his hydroponics equipment store this afternoon, an Alameda County sheriff’s sergeant said. Deputies responded to Alameda County Hydroponics at 20910 Redwood Road at about 2:45 p.m. on reports of shots fired and found the store’s owner, a Castro Valley man, suffering a gunshot wound, Sgt. Ray Kelly said. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he died. “At this point it appears two male suspects entered the business about the time of the shooting, there was some type of altercation inside and the proprietor of the business was fatally wounded by gunfire,”
Kelly said. The motive of the shooting is under investigation.  “We’re interviewing several witnesses and trying to figure out what happened exactly and why this happened,” Kelly said. The two male suspects fled the scene of the shooting on foot.  Kelly said deputies responded to a separate incident at about 5:15 p.m., a home-invasion robbery a couple miles away from the hydroponics store. Three males entered a Castro Valley home, tied up the victims and stole a large amount of marijuana as well as the victims’ vehicle, Kelly said. Deputies spotted the vehicle and pursued it into San Leandro where it crashed. The driver of the vehicle was arrested following a foot pursuit, but the passenger got into the driver’s seat and drove the vehicle into Oakland, where it crashed again. That suspect was then arrested in Oakland, Kelly said. The third suspect in the home-invasion robbery remains at large. Authorities recovered a gun that was thrown out the window of the car during the pursuit, Kelly said. Investigators are working to determine if there is any connection between the homicide and the robbery.  “At this time…we’re looking to see if there’s similarities in the case,” Kelly said.

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