OAKLAND -- A parolee with a distinctive haircut was arrested this week on suspicion of robbing a man at gunpoint after a relative of the victim spotted the suspect riding a bus, police said Wednesday.

Besides the June 6 robbery of a 21-year-old man in East Oakland, Randy James, 23, is also suspected of other crimes, including an auto burglary on Monday, police said.

The June 6 robbery happened about 10:10 p.m. in the 5400 block of Bancroft Avenue, a few blocks from the victim's home.

Police said James, of Oakland, forced the man into an alley, pulled a gun on him and robbed him of his wallet, cellphone and other items. The victim had seen James in the area before and could not remember his name but described him as having a distinctive red and yellow mohawk haircut.

Police said a few hours after the robbery, James taunted the victim and some of his family from outside their home but fled before police arrived.

On Tuesday about 11 a.m., a relative of the victim was riding a 40-line AC Transit bus headed toward downtown and saw James on the bus, still with the colorful mohawk, police said.

The relative was able to contact police via cellphone. James was arrested after getting off the bus at 12th and Webster streets, and a loaded gun he was carrying was recovered, Officer Hector Jimenez said.

Police also found two cellphones on James. One belonged to the robbery victim, and when police called the number for the other phone, they found it had been taken in an auto burglary that had not yet been reported to police, authorities said.


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Jimenez said James admitted possessing the gun but denied being involved in the robbery.

Authorities said James is on parole for attempted robbery. He was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property and violating parole.