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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 Police Department, followed by a snapshot of BPD activity this week. The calls for service spreadsheet is available on Google Docs. See also the San Francisco Chronicle’s regularly published list of arrests in Berkeley. For other sources of information on crime in Berkeley see Community CrimeView and Crimemapping.com.

Friday, May 4

Armed Robbery — Hearst and Spruce Streets
On Friday, May 4 at approximately 10:15 p.m. an armed robbery occurred near Hearst and Spruce. The two 21-year old male victims were walking nearby the intersection when they passed two males.  The first male asked for the time while the second male approached them with a knife, drawn and visible. The suspect with the knife demanded the victims’ property. The first suspect took a wallet and cell phone from one of the victims while the second victim yelled for help. The suspects fled to a waiting vehicle which drove away in a northeasterly direction on Le Conte.  The victims were not injured during the encounter.

BPD searched the area but could not locate the suspects or their vehicle. The victim described the suspects as:

Suspect #1 – A Black male, 25 years old, 5’8” in height, with a heavy build, wearing a horizontal striped shirt.

Suspect #2 – A Black male, 20 to 25 years old, 5’10” in height, with an average build, wearing a light blue jacket and holding a knife.

Suspect Vehicle – A light colored sedan.

Strong Arm Robbery — Channing Way and Bowditch Street
On Friday, May 4 at approximately 7:03 p.m., a 19-year old woman was on the corner of Channing Way and Bowditch Street. Two teen female suspects approached the victim. Suspect #1 pushed the victim in the chest, while Suspect #2 grabbed the victim’s iPhone from her hand. The victim yelled for help. Some good Samaritans chased the suspects briefly, but lost them. During the chase, Suspect #1 tossed the victim’s iPhone. A BPD officer detained two possible suspects at College Avenue and Channing Way. The victim positively identified a 17-year old Hayward teen and an 18-year old Oakland woman as the suspects. The victim got her iPhone back along with her ear buds. The victim was not physically injured during the crime.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon — Gayley Road in Front of the Greek Theatre
On Friday, May 4th  at 9:34 p.m., two UC students (one male and one female) were walking northbound on the east sidewalk on Gayley Road. When they reached the Greek Theatre, a black sedan, older model, described as mid-sized and “boxy”, drove by the victims in the northbound lane. As the vehicle drove by, one suspect shot the victims with a paintball gun from the right rear open window of the vehicle. One victim was struck in the hand with a paintball. The other victim was struck in the left leg with a paintball. The suspects fled the scene in their car. Neither victim needed medical attention. UCPD continues to investigate the incident.

Armed Robbery — Gayley Road in Front of Stern Hall
On Friday, May 4 at approximately 10:18 p.m., three UC students were walking on Gayley Road, near the bus stop, off the Stern Hall access road when they noticed a sedan pull up behind them.  Two suspects got out of the car. Suspect #1 had a knife and walked up to the victims from behind and took a wallet from one victim and a purse from another victim. Suspect #2 demanded the wallet from the third victim. The third victim refused and was punched in the head.  The third victim gave the second suspect his wallet. The suspects took a backpack before entering their car and fleeing northbound on Gayley Road. UCPD searched the area for the vehicle, but did not find any matching vehicles in the area.  UCPD continues their investigation of the robbery.

The suspects are described as:

Suspect #1  Black, Male, 22-24 years, 5′ 9″ tall and skinny wearing red or white hooded sweatshirt.

Suspect #2  Black, Male, 24-26 years old, 5′ 10″ tall, about 225 lbs, wearing hooded sweatshirt.

Robbery and Aggravated Assault — People’s Park
On Friday, May 4  at 12:59 p.m. UCPD received a report of a fight in progress in People’s Park.  Officers arrived on scene and found the assault victim, a 43-year old male, lying on the ground. BFD arrived and transported the victim to a local emergency room. At the hospital the victim told the officers that he had been walking through the park when a male approached him and started harrassing him. The suspect was joined by a female suspect who began yelling at the victim. The victim was then surrounded by approximately 12 people. The victim attempted to run away but was knocked to the ground and beaten and kicked around the head, arms, stomach and groin area. While on the ground the victim’s wallet was taken.  The victim was able to describe four of the suspects.

The suspects were described as:

Suspect #1 – A White male in his early 30s, 5’8” in height, 180 lbs., with a stocky build and light facial hair, with blonde dreadlocks, wearing a dark earth shirt.

Suspect #2 – A White female in her early 30s, 5’5” in height, 130 lbs., with blonde dreadlocks and light dark skin, wearing green corduroy clothing.

Suspect #3 – A Black male, 5’11 in height, with a thin build, dark skin and unusual teeth, wearing a white shirt and black pants.

Suspect #4 – A White male, taller than 5’8” in height.

Sunday, May 6

Brandishing Knife with Arrest — 2400 block of 8th Street
On Sunday, May 6 at about 2:15 a.m., a 27-year old Berkeley man and his girlfriend were in the 2400 block of Eighth Street. A male suspect approached their car window and knocked on it. The man got out of the car to confront the suspect. The suspect appeared drunk and brandished a knife at the man/victim. The victim called BPD and officers detained the suspect nearby. The victim signed a Private Person’s arrest form and BPD accepted the arrest. The 29-year-old Berkeley man was arrested for 417(a)(1) PC – Brandishing a Knife.

Residential Burglary via Door Pry – 1200 Hopkins Street
On Sunday, May 6 at 10:49 a.m., a Berkeley man called BPD to report that his home had been burglarized in the 1200 block of Hopkins Street. The man told the BPD officer that he had left his home to go out of town on Thursday, May 3 at approximately 8:00 a.m. When he returned on Sunday just before he called BPD, he saw that the back door of his home had been pried open. An unknown suspect or suspects entered the home and stole electronics and coins.

Auto Burglary via Window Smash – 1500 Juanita Way
A Berkeley man called BPD on Sunday, May 6 at 11:30 a.m. when he went to use his Chevy S-10 and saw that the front window was smashed. He had parked and locked the truck on Saturday, May 5 at 10:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Juanita Way. He told the BPD officer that he had stored a black nylon bag inside the vehicle and the unknown suspect stole the bag that contained personal checks, tax documents and other important paperwork.

Monday, May 7

Armed Robbery — Gayley Road in Front of the Greek Theatre
On Monday, May 7  at 8:32 p.m., a UCPD officer met with a victim of an armed robbery. A short time earlier the victim, a 30-year old male, was walking to his car on Gayley near the Greek Theatre when he was approached from behind by a male. The male asked the victim several questions regarding the time and the bus schedule. The suspect waited for the traffic to pass and then demanded the victim’s property. The victim gave the suspect the contents of his wallet and his cell phone. The suspect demanded the victim’s satchel and showed him a small handgun concealed under his sweatshirt. The victim gave the suspect the satchel which contained a laptop. The suspect was last seen walking southbound on Gayley. UCPD searched the area but was unable to locate the suspect. The victim was not injured during the encounter.

The suspect was described as:

A Black male, between 18 to 20 years of age, 5’10” to 6’ in height, with a medium build, medium complexion, clean shaven, with a short afro hairstyle, wearing a black loose-fitting hoodie and green sweat pants, carrying a small frame semi-automatic pistol.

Identity Theft/Fraud – 1400 Tenth Street

On Monday, May 7 at 3:45 p.m., a Berkeley man called BPD to report identity theft. The BPD case officer learned that the man had received two bills that day from a phone carrier for two phone numbers he did not open. The total bill was over $200. An unidentified suspect had used the victim’s information to open the accounts. The officer advised the victim to close the accounts.

Felony Theft – 1200 block of 9th Street
A property maintenance manager from the 1200 block of 9th Street called BPD on Monday, May 7 at 10:36 a.m. The manager had noticed that a back flow prevention valve made of copper and brass that is part of the water piping system had been stolen. The BPD officer documented the crime and suspects it was stolen to sell as scrap metal.

Drinking in Public, Stay Away Order & Probation Violation Arrest
On Monday, May 7 at 2:15 p.m., a Telegraph Avenue patrol officer saw a man in People’s Park drinking a malt liquor. She recognized the suspect as a person that had a stay away order from the park. The officer and her partner detained the suspect. A records check confirmed the stay away order and that the suspect was active to probation. BPD cited the man for drinking in public and arrested the 28-year old suspect for violations of 166(a)(4)PC and 1203.2 PC.

Robbery – College & Ashby Avenue
A 19-year old Berkeley man was walking at College and Ashby Avenues on Monday, May 7 at 10:32 p.m. A male suspect walked up to him and demanded the victim’s shoulder bag and iPhone. The suspect threatened the victim and had a bulge in his pocket that the victim believed was a gun. The suspect fled westbound on Ashby Avenue on foot after the crime. BPD officers did an area check but did not locate the suspect.

Tuesday, May 8

Indecent Exposure – Milvia & Kittredge Street
On Tuesday, May 8 at about 8:00 a.m., some Berkeley High School students saw a man walking in the area of Milvia and Kittredge Streets exposing his genitals and making lewd comments. BPD officers responded and detained the man. Officers arrested the 34-year old Berkeley man for violation of 314 PC – Indecent Exposure.

Burglary to Garage of Home – 1000 block of Shattuck Avenue
On Tuesday, May 8 at approximately 10:08 a.m., a Berkeley community member called BPD to report the burglary of a garage. The BPD officer learned that the garage in the 1000 block of Shattuck Avenue had been left unlocked between 9:00 p.m. on Monday night and 10:00 a.m. that morning. The unidentified suspect or suspects made off with two bicycles and power tools.

Possession For Sale of Marijuana, Sale of Marijuana and Enhancement – 2100 block of 9th Street 
On Tuesday, May 8 at 4:10 p.m., a member of the Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) saw a man sell marijuana to another man. Drug Task Force (DTF) officers made an investigative car stop of the vehicle that the seller was driving in the 2200 block of San Pablo Avenue. During a probable cause search of the car, the DTF officers found approximately ¾ of a pound of marijuana, digital scales, cell phones, sandwich bags and over $750 in cash.DTF officers arrested and booked the 44-year old Berkeley resident for violations of 11360(a) H&S – Sales of Marijuana, 11359 H&S – Possession For Sale of Marijuana and 667(B) PC – An enhancement /sentencing section.

Welfare Check Turns into Drunk in Public Arrest – 1800 block of University Avenue
On Tuesday, May 8 at 9:25 p.m., an employee of a grocery store in the 1800 block of University Avenue called BPD asking for a welfare check of a man. The employee had found the man asleep on the business’ fork lift. BPD officer arrived and discovered that the male suspect was very intoxicated and could not take care of himself. The suspect said he had consumed a fifth of vodka. The officers arrested the 65-year old Berkeley man for violation of 647(f) PC and booked him into the BPD Jail until sober.

Wednesday, May 9

Possession of Cocaine Base, Possession for Sale of Marijuana Arrests — 1000 block of Allston Way 
On Wednesday, May 9 at 10:23 a.m., the Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) with the support of some detectives from the Investigations Division served a search warrant at a home in the 1000 block of Allston Way. Two men were detained by members of BPD related to the warrant. During a search of the home officers found a small amount of cocaine base or “crack cocaine”, approximately 115 grams of marijuana in over 100 small baggies, digital scales and sandwich bags. The suspects were both  43-years old. One was arrested and booked for violation of 11350(a) H&S and the other for violation of 11359 H&S. Officer booked the two into the Berkeley Jail.

Robbery via Gun – Fulton and Derby Streets
On Wednesday, May 9 at 11:23 p.m., a 22-year old woman UC Berkeley student was standing in an alley near her residence in the 2400 block of Dana Street. Two male suspects approached her from behind while she was alone talking on her cell phone. Suspect #1 grabbed the cell phone from the victim while she was still talking on it. The suspect then pointed a gun at her and demanded more property but the victim did not have any. A 20-year old male UC Berkeley student who is a friend of the victim’s saw the crime and went to the victim’s aid. When the young man did so, he saw Suspect #2 had a gun. Suspect #2 robbed him of his cell phone and wallet. The two suspects then ran off on foot. BPD and UCPD officers did area checks but did not find the suspects.

The victims described the suspects as:
Suspect #1 – “A black male adult, 18-24 years old, 5’11” tall, thin build wearing a black hoody and black pants.”
Suspect #2 – “A black male adult, early 20s, 5’8” -5’9” tall, athletic build, wearing a black hoody with the hood up.”
Both were armed with semi-auto type handguns

Snapshots

Between Sunday, May 6 at 12:05 a.m. and Wednesday, May 9 at 7:36 p.m., BPD officers were dispatched to 24 calls for service for welfare checks. In the majority of cases, two BPD officers responded, investigated, detained individuals and provided dispositions for each of these calls. Some calls involved community members concerned about an individual on the street and/or in a park, out of town/state family members not able to contact relatives and older community members who have not been seen for a few days. The officers made contact where they can, do records research and provide dispositions for each investigation. In some cases, officers did records checks of women and men for parole, probation, missing person, restraining orders, wants and warrants statuses.

Between Sunday, May 6 at 2:47 a.m. and Wednesday, May 9 at 10:21 a.m., BPD patrol officers made 64 traffic enforcement stops throughout the City of Berkeley. This total does not include the BPD traffic/motor officers. During many of these stops, two BPD officers were required for safety. The officers did record checks of the majority of these women and men for license statuses, parole, probation, missing person, restraining orders, wants and warrants statuses. Officers provided dispositions for each stop. Some resulted in not only citations for equipment or moving violations, but arrests for warrants, drugs or DUI — Driving under the influence.

Between Sunday, May 6 at 6:36 p.m. and Wednesday, May 9 at 1:27 a.m., BPD officers investigated and documented 19 auto burglaries throughout the city. In most cases, the drivers and/or passengers left valuables in the vehicle such as laptops, iPods, iPhones, luggage and purses. Based on a body of law enforcement experience, these crimes are accomplished very quickly and suspects return to the same areas, neighborhood, parking lots and businesses over and over.

Between Sunday, May 6 at 10:36 p.m. and Wednesday, May 9 at 2:59 p.m., BPD officers were dispatched to 15 calls for service regarding individuals trespassing on private property. In the majority of cases, two officers responded, investigated, detained individuals and provided dispositions for each of these calls. The officers did record checks of the majority of these women and men for parole, probation, missing person, restraining orders, wants and warrants statuses. Several were active to probation or parole while three were arrested for outstanding warrants.

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  • Guest

    Any idea what was going on to close off Telegraph (and side streets) in downtown on Thursday morning?

  • Daniel M

     I was wondering the same thing.  Traffic was so backed up I could barely get through on my bike.

  • batard

    You don’t need to know.  Everything you are allowed to know is right here.  LOL

  • Mrdrew3782

    Whats with all the armed robberies around the campus? Usually the crime stayed South of campus late at night. Several months ago students started getting robbed in the middle of the day. Now the attacks are moving North of the campus. Hopefully the UCPD or Berkeley Police can nab some of these crooks.

  • Guest

     Well, no—the police blotter is only inclusive through Wed; it’s not deliberately not letting us know what happened on Thursday. I just didn’t want to have to wait another week to have my curiosity satisfied.

  • Guest

     Well, no—the police blotter is only inclusive through Wed; it’s not deliberately not letting us know what happened on Thursday. I just didn’t want to have to wait another week to have my curiosity satisfied.

  • Allen

    lots of crime in peoples park

  • Kamajogo

    I’m a bit puzzled by the paintball incident being described as “assault with a deadly weapon.”  Can you kill someone with a painball gun?  Not that it’s ok to run around shooting people with paintballs.  I just wouldn’t have guessed it would be classified that way.

  • Bryan Garcia


    Robbery via Gun – Fulton and Derby Streets

    On Wednesday, May 9 at 11:23 p.m., a 22-year old woman UC Berkeley student was standing in an alley near her residence in the 2400 block of Dana Street.”
    Is this an error? 2400 Dana Street is not near Fulton & Derby at all.

    However, I live at Fulton & Derby, and I am pretty sure there was a robbery there this week. I saw the police talking to a young woman who was very shaken up, and from what I could hear it sounded like her backpack had been stolen, but she still had her cell phone.

    Is it possible that these two stories got mixed up?

  • Sarah

    Hi Neighbor, I’m right on the same block. Sad to hear that this happened. We need to get the neighborhood together and start reporting any and all suspicious activity. 

  • Guest

    There was a car accident at Haste and Telgraph, possibly involved with a bus? The car was up on the sidewalk smashed into that black iron fence that surrounds the vacant lot there on the corner. The front was pretty totaled but I think the driver was able to get out of the car on his/her own. Not sure how it all happened though.

  • batard

    Seems like hyperbole on the part of UCPD.   I don’t see any DA signing up  to make the “deadly weapon” argument in court  ..  after all, by design it’s intended to be fired at other people for entertainment.  Sure it’s kinda dangerous on your eyes if unprotected, but still inherently non-lethal.

  • Guest

     Thanks!

  • concernedneighbor

    I am curious to know what happened today around 8:35AM in Berkeley Hills. Heard a car speeding up Euclid at Keith. 1-2 minutes later, hear a squad car with sirens speeding up the hill after it. What happened? I hope to hear more about this in next week’s police blotter. 

  • bgal4

     and your curiosity will only be satisfied IF the incident is included in the extremely limited selected list.

  • Berkeleyfarm

    We really need legislation that prohibits activation of a cell phone reported stolen.  Other countries have them.  Cell phone theft in Australia went down to almost zero after theirs got passed.   Right now it looks like easy money for crooks to hold up someone with an iPhone.  Sell it on the black market, and one of the carriers would be happy to sell you service on it.  Someone on B’side noted that the crooks seem to be treating college students as walking ATMs and I have to agree here. 

  • Berkeleyfarm

    That is, the Bigs would be happy to sell service to the person who bought the black market phone. 

  • Bruce Love

    Cell phone theft in Australia went down to almost zero after theirs got passed.

    That is a large exaggeration.

    The changes in Australia slowed but did not stop theft.   It’s not clear it’s made any long term difference.

    The market for stolen phones is global.   Discouraging theft for local use does decrease the value of a stolen phone a little, but organized crime can help to fix that (and apparently does).

    Also, the same technology that makes it possible to track and “brick” a stolen phone has ruinous effects on personal privacy.   It would be nice if crime never paid — but not at any price.

    Perhaps part of the best solution would be to encourage people to use phones that, while perfectly utilitarian, are also very inexpensive in the first place.

  • The Sharkey

    Australia has seen a 25% drop in cell phone theft since their law was passed in 2003.
    Clearly not “almost zero” as Berkeleyfarm said, but certainly better than inaction or trying to shame people for wanting nice things.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/03/BAHO1M7J9U.DTL

  • Bruce Love

     Sonuvab— they’re doing it anyway. 

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/fcc-and-wireless-carriers-prepare-to-blacklist-stolen-phones/

    Orwell underestimated.

  • Bruce Love

    I’m happy to discuss the (repeated ad nauseum) Australia statistic — and how it abused — with someone who uses their real name and converses in a civil manner.  That isn’t you.

  • The Sharkey

    PRO-TIP: You and I are not the only ones who read these comments. If you have an argument that’s worth presenting, present it. Maybe, perhaps, it could be that other people might read it.

  • Bruce Love

    The problem, The Sharkey, is that you often dog me with objections that seem insincere because they are very stupid compared to what I’ve seen you to be capable of.   You have a long history of dogging me in comments, often (in my view) setting up straw-men and arguing against those — even though you are evidently smart enough to not do so by accident.   Maybe my impression is wrong but that is the impression I have after quite a long time.

    When someone once in a while badly misinterprets something I’ve said and argues against a stupid straw-man interpretation, or otherwise just hassles me… my default assumption is usually that that’s not on purpose.  That that’s just one of those things.   In some cases, others might be making the same mistake sincerely …  so why not take a minute and try to  fix the confusion.  Yet,  I’m afraid I’ve done too much of that with respect to you, Sharkey.   Yes, I took the bait, my bad.  That is my “excuse” for why we’ve sometimes been accused of too much back-and-forth.  

    You don’t seem to do this stupid dogging just from time to time.   From the very earliest I’ve known of you you’ve dogged me.  Early on I had the impression this related to your dislike of Berkeley Daily Planet and/or Becky O’Malley.   I’m not sure what still sustains you but I, at least, don’t find you intellectually honest.   I find you especially hostile towards me.   I think you are a problem for me and for the forum.  I don’t think that you are alone in that regard.   I think you are symptomatic of larger problem having to do with anonymous accounts and the expenses of thoroughly moderating a forum against malicious attacks.

    In this particular instance you replied to me saying but certainly better than inaction or trying to shame people for wanting nice things.   Of course, that reply has nothing that anybody like you should honestly think that I said.   It could be an innocent mistake on your part but if so it’s the latest in a very long line of similar mistakes.

    In any event, please understand that whether or not my extremely negative impressions of you — my sense that you have extreme disregard for myself, many members of the community, and the forum itself — are why I don’t feel all that interested in taking on your “arguments” directly.

    Thanks for understanding,
    -t

  • The Sharkey

    Your solution to the problem of cell phone theft was for everyone to use less-nice phones (cheaper) because you didn’t like the idea of bricking stolen phones, citing an unsubstantiated worry about “privacy” as your reason.

    I provided the common-on-the-internet statistic of 25% reduction in phone theft in Australia and a link to a story about it, and suggested that while it might not be a perfect solution it was better than doing nothing, or following your “solution” of everyone buying cheaper phones.

    Rather than address the issue and support your statements, you choose instead to engage in a protracted personal attack, and then have the gall to act the martyr and pretend that there are no valid reasons why anyone might dislike you and wonder why people might be hostile towards you? Talk about intellectual dishonesty. Yeesh.

  • Anonymous

    You’ll have to cut “Bruce” some slack. He’s trying to make up for a lost week of trolling since everybody buried him with the aborted Discus update.

  • Anonymous

     Again, “Bruce” has no idea what he’s talking about.  Deactivating a phone just requires that the carrier be told the serial and IMEI numbers (which they already have of course, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to bill you for your calls) and a police report stating that it has been reported stolen.  The current situation, which is fairly unique to the US, allows the carrier to continue making money off the stolen phone as well sell the vicitm a new phone at the unsubsidized price and continue collecting on their contract.  Basically the only ones against having the ability of disabling stolen phones are the carriers and “Bruce”.

    The phone will still work, it just won’t be able to connect to a cell.  It’s also fairly trivial to give a phone a new IMEI number so this is more of a deterrent to casual thieves but the fact the carriers are more than willing to activate a phone that they know is stolen is criminal.

  • Anonymous

     Again, “Bruce” has no idea what he’s talking about.  Deactivating a phone just requires that the carrier be told the serial and IMEI numbers (which they already have of course, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to bill you for your calls) and a police report stating that it has been reported stolen.  The current situation, which is fairly unique to the US, allows the carrier to continue making money off the stolen phone as well sell the vicitm a new phone at the unsubsidized price and continue collecting on their contract.  Basically the only ones against having the ability of disabling stolen phones are the carriers and “Bruce”.

    The phone will still work, it just won’t be able to connect to a cell.  It’s also fairly trivial to give a phone a new IMEI number so this is more of a deterrent to casual thieves but the fact the carriers are more than willing to activate a phone that they know is stolen is criminal.

  • Anonymous

     Hopefully that will lighten up when they start moving over to the new, uhm, farm on Marin and San Pablo.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    “Bruce,” please, give the real name dodge up already. It’s disingenuous on your part and it’s plain that you’re just using it to duck arguments that you can’t win on the level.