Police blotter: Recent crime in Berkeley

This is a partial list of recent crimes in Berkeley based on information from the Berkeley Police Department and the UC Berkeley Police Department. For other sources of information on crime in Berkeley see Community CrimeView and Crimemapping.com.

Robbery Via Gun – 2500 Block of College Avenue – #2011-690
On Thursday January 5, 2012 at about 1:05 a.m., a man and woman in their 20s were walking of College Avenue and Dwight Way when they became victims of a robbery. The two victims told BPD officers that they were walking north on the west side of College Avenue when they were approached by three males. One of the three male suspects pointed a gun at them and demanded anything they had. The woman handed over a purse with contents. The man gave them his wallet with a small amount of cash and misc credit cards. The suspects then fled in an unknown direction on foot. Neither of the victims was physically injured during the crime. BPD officers did area checks but did not locate any suspects. The victims described the suspects as Suspect #1 – “a Black male adult in his 20s, 5’10”, skinny, wearing a dark hoodie or jacket, dark pants and possibly a dark beanie carrion a dark gun. Suspect #2 – “ a Black male adult in his 20s, 5’9-5’10” medium build wearing dark clothes. Suspect #3 – “a White male adult in his 20s, 5’8”-5’10” wearing a dark jacket.

Armed Robbery, College and Durant Avenues, # 12-00320
On Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at about 1:20 a.m. an armed robbery occurred near the intersection of College and Durant. The 63 year old male victim, affiliation unknown, was walking in the area of Durant and College when 5 male teens approached him. One of the suspects pointed a semi-automatic type handgun at the victim. The suspects took the victim’s computer bag and fled on foot.  The victim walked to UCPD in Sproul Hall and reported the robbery. BPD and UCPD searched the area and recovered the victim’s bag and contents but were unable to locate the suspects. The victim was not injured during the encounter. The suspects were described as: Five black males in their teens, all wearing dark clothing.

Brick Through Window – Vandalism – 2400 Block of Piedmont Avenue – #2011-50
On January 1, 2012 at about 4:00 a.m., a community member was asleep in her apartment in the 2400 block of Piedmont Avenue. She was startled awake by a smashing sound as a brick came flying through a 8 foot by 8 foot glass pane of a wood-framed window. She looked outside but did not see anyone who may have thrown it. A BPD officer documented the damage.

Stop Sign Violation Leads to DUI Arrest – Channing Way and Dana Street – #2011-44
A BPD Patrol officer was driving eastbound on Channing Way on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at about 4:09 a.m. behind a Silver Nissan when the driver did not stop for a stop sign at the intersection at Fulton. The officer made a traffic enforcement stop of the car on Channing Way at Dana Street. When she spoke with the male driver, the officer noted objective symptoms of alcoholic beverage impairment. The officer called for a cover/witness officer and began a DUI investigation. Throughout the Field Sobriety Tests, (FSTs) the driver performed very poorly. Based on the Berkeley man’s initial driving, objective symptoms of impairment and his performance of the FSTs, the BPD officer arrested him for Driving Under the influence. The BPD officer transported him to the BPD Jail where the suspect opted for a breath test. The two results were both .11 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) He was booked into the Berkeley Jail for violations of 23152(a)(B) – Driving Under The Influence/over .08.

Stolen Car – 1600 Block of Berkeley Way #2012-138
On Sunday, January 1, 2012 at about 10:30 p.m., the owner of a 2003 Silver Honda Civic watched as an unknown suspect or suspects drove her car from the rear parking lot of her apartment building located in the 1600 Block of Berkeley Way. She was not able to get any description of the thief or thieves. A BPD officer responded and documented the theft as well as entered the car into SVS – Stolen Vehicle System.

Thefts From Three Cars – 1100 Block of Euclid Avenue – #2012-280
On Monday, January 2, 2012 at about 8:00 p.m., a community member in the 1100 block of Euclid Avenue discovered that items were stolen from three cars in her driveway. The BPD officer who responded learned from her that none of the cars were locked. The driveway is very long and the cars are not easily noted from the street. She last checked the cars at approximately 10:00 p.m. the previous night, Sunday, January 1, 2012. An unknown suspect or suspects stole cash and coins from her Toyota RAV 4, cash from the Volvo Coupe and a IBM laptop and ski jacket from her Subaru Impreza.

Brandishing a Knife – 3000 Block of Telegraph Avenue – #2012-268
A private security guard for a grocery store was escorting a very intoxicated male suspect out of the store at about 7:20 p.m. on Monday, January 2, 2012. The guard told the responding BPD patrol officer that he walked the suspect out as “he began knocking over random food displays.” The suspect started walking east, then turned around and returned to the parking lot of the store. The security guard then noticed that the suspect quickly attempted to get into a red 2-door Mercedes for which he had keys. The guard ran over to intervene as he was concerned that this heavily intoxicated man would hurt himself or someone else or kill someone if he drove away. The suspect then pulled out a silver knife from his right pant pocket, pointed it at the guard and stated, “Don’t make me have to use this.” The guard backed away as the suspect got into his vehicle, drove out of the parking lot and then fled south on Telegraph Ave. The security employee wanted the incident documented but said he wasn’t interested in prosecution for 417(a) PC – Brandishing a Knife, however he was concerned for public safety. BPD officers checked the area and neighboring agencies were alerted to this vehicle and its driver. Neither was found.

Traffic Enforcement Stop Leads to Drug Arrest, 1600 block Alcatraz Avenue #2012-406
City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Drug Task Force (DTF) officers made a traffic enforcement stop of a car for two vehicle code violations (cracked windshield and brake light out) on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at approximately 2:24 p.m. The stop was made in the 1600 block of Alcatraz Avenue. DTF officers made contact with the male driver and immediately smelled an odor of marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle. Officers conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle and found methamphetamine wrapped up in a blunt along with some marijuana.  Officers arrested the driver, a 43-year-old Antioch man for violation of H&S 11377 – Possession of Methamphetamine and booked him into the BPD Jail.

Search Warrant Yield Drugs and Arrest  -#2012-424
BPD DTF Officers assisted Special Investigations Bureau (SIB) detectives with the service of a search warrant at an address in the City of Richmond at about 3:56 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2011. The focus of the search warrant was a suspect who sells methamphetamine in the City of Berkeley.  Members of the team detained the suspect at Walnut Street and University Avenue. Officers found marijuana packaged for sale inside the suspect’s car. The team went to the suspect’s home and during a search of his bedroom, officers found additional marijuana, drug packaging materials, shotgun shells and methamphetamine.  During the booking process at the BPD Jail, Officers recovered additional methamphetamine hidden in the suspect’s buttocks. Officers arrested the 37 year old Richmond man and booked him into the BPD Jail for violations of H&S 11359– Possession of Marijuana for Sale, H&S 11378 – Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale and PC 4573.6 – Possession of a Controlled Substance While in Jail.

Argument Turns to Lying to an Officer and a Drug Arrest – University Ave and Martin Luther King Jr Way – #2012-537
At about 9:08 a.m. on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, BPD officers responded to a verbal argument that was escalating between a group near Trader Joes at University Ave and Martin Luther King Jr Way. The handling officer attempted to conduct a records check of one of the male parties who had no identification and determined that he was providing false information/name to her, an officer, a misdemeanor crime. During a search incident to his arrest for lying, the officer found marijuana and packaging consistent with possession for sales. The officer also seized many items that were in another’s person’s name, a woman, such as a Coach wallet, CDL and misc credit cards. Once the suspect was booked into the BPD Jail, he was fingerprinted and the results provided his true name and the fact that he had two warrants and was listed as a missing person. In addition to the booking offense of 148.9 (a) – Providing False Information to a Peace officer, the officer added the two separate warrants, H&S 11359 – Possession of marijuana For Sales and 485 PC – Misappropriation of Found Property as she made many investigative attempts to confirm that the wallet and contents were stolen but hit a dead end. The suspect just kept the items and had made no efforts to locate the individual himself which constitutes a crime.

Attempted Robbery Haste and Dana Streets
On Thursday, December 29, 2011 at approximately 6:10 p.m. BPD responded to an attempted robbery at the intersection of Haste and Dana Streets. Further details regarding this crime will be provided as they become available from BPD. The suspect is described as: A Black male teenager wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, black pants, and riding a bicycle.

Snapshots: Some of the activities BPD officers have been involved in:

Between January 1, 2012 at approximately 12:08 a.m. and Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 12:40 p.m., BPD officers have responded and managed 97 calls for police services regarding disturbances throughout the City of Berkeley …these can range from yelling, music, arguing, sounds of unknown origin and family disputes.

Between January 2, 2012 at approximately 8:00 a.m. and Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 8:00 a.m., BPD officers have responded and managed 16 calls for police services regarding what community members believe are abandoned autos throughout the City of Berkeley.

Between January 1, 2012 at approximately 8:00 a.m. and Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 7:58 a.m., BPD officers have responded and managed 18 calls for police services regarding trespassers throughout the City of Berkeley.

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  • Drunk Mercedes-driving sleazeballs with knives at Whole Foods and folks pushin’ weed & meth at Trader Joe’s?

    When did yuppie grocery stores turn into crime magnets?


  • free2think

    RE: Armed Robbery, College and Durant Avenues, # 12-00320Five black males need a automatic weapon to shake down an elder. PUNKS!

  • Officers recovered additional methamphetamine hidden in the suspect’s buttocks.

    I thought it was gross when an officer at BPD told me some drug dealer lingo “rock spittin’ money gettin’ “ which means they hide drugs in their mouth in cellophane packets & when someone buys some, they spit out a cellphane covered rock of meth & give it to the purchaser. 

    I wonder what the drug lingo is for someone hiding the meth in their bum? The only thing that comes to mind for me right now is YUCK!

  • Toni Mester

    I appreciate this objective and detailed police report and hope that Berkeleyside continues this important community service on a weekly basis.

  • Bruce Love

    It isn’t “objective” in the sense that the police department writes it, although Berkeleyside may make some slight changes.   It’s also only “selectively detailed” since the BDP choose which crimes to include or exclude, and what details to provide.  For example, http://www.dailycal.org/2012/01/05/crime-in-berkeley-jan-1-jan-5/

    (Not saying it isn’t a service to run it here, though.   Just don’t misunderstand what it is.)

  • exactly.  not that criminals have any shame to begin with, but really, 5 men and a submachine gun for a laptop?  where do these people come from?

  • Toni Mester

    No misunderstandings; we know the information comes from the police department and that it is further edited for publication. But compared with other sporadic and subjective police reports in various publications, this one is presented in a professional manner and provides the details most readers want: descriptions of what, who, when and where. If we can rely on reading such a report weekly as a regular service, the community will be better informed. The City spends a great deal on public safety, and not only do we deserve to know how our money is being spent, police reports help us assess some of the current dangers and act accordingly.

  • Toni: Berkeleyside has been providing weekly blotters like this one since June 2011 and we intend to continue doing so. We are also working with the BPD to be able to provide even more detailed and comprehensive data on crime.

  • Toni Mester

    Thank you Tracey.

  • Bruce Love

    I don’t exactly disagree, Toni, except that I still think you put too much faith in this thing.  For example, you write:

    The City spends a great deal on public safety, and not only do we
    deserve to know how our money is being spent, police reports help us
    assess some of the current dangers and act accordingly.

    I don’t think these reports tell you much at all about how your money is being spent.  And whether or not these police-written reports give you true insight into “some of the current dangers” is often a question for journalists. 

    I lament the near death of investigatory crime reporting, for which there isn’t much money these days, most anywhere.  To me, it’s unnerving and vaguely sinister to lose most crime reporting and to have as the main substitute a state-authored, redacted police blotter.

    Here is an example of how this kind of reporting can lead to corruption, without any conspiracy needed.    Let’s suppose that within BDP leadership there is an opinion forming that the department needs some X, where X could be a new squad car, or funding for a special unit, or funding for a new weapon or surveillance tool.

    The desire for that X can easily, without evil intent, color the contents of incident reports and the department’s editorial selection of which incidents and details to publish.   In effect, just because the people writing these reports are thinking about X a lot these days, they can wind up de facto lobbying the public for X.

    But are the incident reports and the choice of which ones and which details to publish a good account of what’s going on?  That’s a question for investigatory crime reporting.

  • Perrypawo

    Three cars?….

  • Give it a rest, Tom.

    The constant insinuations of corruption – in most cases with absolutely zero credible supporting evidence – are tiresome.

  • Deka

    I have a hunch these  bastards might be using plastic gun replicas as the real ones are  both expensive and their use against civilians are considered a violation by  the gangs leaders as it brings  to much heat on their enterprises by the PD.

  • Guest

    So would it be better not to publish these reports or maybe the police dept shouldn’t even release the reports….?

  • Bruce Love

    Guest, I did acknowledge earlier in the thread that publishing them was a service.  There are three issues for me.  One is how they’re labeled, which seems misleading to me.  Another, in keeping with that, is how they are received such as if they were an “objective” and “detailed” account of crime in Berkeley and “how our money is being spent.”  Finally, as I said, I lament the dearth of investigative police reporting.  It seems to me that one important role for the press is to help people see and understand the the structure and functioning of their community — judging from commentary on these blotters, they don’t work well for that.  The blotters are an awkward combination of working well for shaping some aspects of public opinion — but not for conveying much insight into what’s actually going on “out there”. 

  • Culperagent355

    Some security guard. Did he get the license plate number?