OAKLAND -- Investigators raided a pair of downtown Oakland stores Thursday morning, looking for clues in the suspicious disappearance of a Hayward man who had ties to the shops and was last seen there last month, police said.
Nigel Jay, a 34-year-old Hayward man who worked at an Alameda restaurant, was last seen at the stores at 1944 Broadway around 9 p.m. April 7. His family reported him missing April 10.
Police served a search warrant at Custom Ink and the adjacent I-Hack Wireless cellphone business but declined to say what -- if anything -- was found inside. On one side of the storefront is a shop with billiards and foosball tables inside and tables where men are often seen socializing. On the adjacent side is a store that buys, sells and repairs cellphones.
In recent weeks, the stores have been closed, bars with giants padlocks across the doors.
No one was inside the businesses when police arrived around 7 a.m. Thursday.
Police searched the stores for about two hours but would not say whether anything was found that might help them solve the case.
"The purpose of the search warrant was to investigate whether something could have happened to Mr. Jay at the business," said Hayward police Sgt. Eric Krimm.
Krimm said a "very healthy dog" was found inside and left there.
At least one friend of Jay's said she has told police she believes people with ties to the store are linked to his disappearance. She asked that her named not be used for fear of retribution.
Police said Jay, who does not own a car, had rented a car the weekend he went missing to drive his father to medical appointments.
The car was found parked on Cary Avenue in East Oakland a few days after Jay was last seen, according to Hayward police Sgt. Mark Ormsby. Police said his cellphone and bank account have not been used since April 7.
Jay worked both at an Alameda restaurant and as a paid cook at a homeless shelter in downtown Oakland. He has not shown up for work since he went missing.
"He hasn't done anything like this before," Krimm said. "It does not seem he is necessarily voluntarily missing."
A close friend of Jay's is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his safe recovery, police said.
Anyone with information on the case should call Hayward police at 510-293-7000.