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. (Please note that these are Calls For Police Services only and are subject to review and reclassification by supervisors, detectives and the DA as appropriate.) 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 BPD’s Community CrimeView and Crimemapping.com.

July 22

Loud Party, 1700 Block of Woolsey Street
On Sunday, July 22, 2012, at approximately 11:51 p.m., BPD Officers were dispatched to a report of a loud party in the 1700 Block of Woolsey Street.  The officer assigned to the call was able to locate the party.  They spoke with the resident, who quieted the party.

Loud Reports, Ashby Avenue/Ellis Street
On Sunday, July 22, 2012, at approximately 10:52 p.m., BPD Officers responded to the area of Ashby Avenue and Ellis Street for a report of possible gun shots or fireworks.  It was reported that one loud report was heard.  Officers checked the area and were unable to locate where the loud report came from.  There were no reports of injuries or property damage.

Bicycle Theft, 2100 Block of Shattuck Avenue
On Sunday, July 22, 2012, between 7:00 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. a bicycle theft occurred in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue.  The victim locked and secured her bicycle.  When she returned she discovered that an unknown suspect stole her bicycle.

July 23 

Disturbance, Milvia Street/Haste Street
On Monday, July 23, 2012, at approximately 5:35 p.m., BPD Officers responded to a report of a disturbance inside a vehicle in the area of Milvia Street and Haste Street.  It was reported that a male and female were arguing inside.  Officers arrived and located the vehicle.  They spoke with the involved parties and determined things were fine.

Reckless Driver, Ashby Avenue/Piedmont Avenue
On Monday, July 23, 2012, at approximately 5:27 p.m. a reckless driver was reported in the area of Piedmont Avenue and Ashby Avenue.   It was reported the vehicle was speeding and failed to yield for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.  BPD officers were dispatched to the location, but were unable to locate the described vehicle.

Residential Burglary, 1100 Block of Francisco Street
On Monday, July 23, 2012, between 5:15 p.m. and 5:40 p.m., a residential burglary occurred in the 1100 block of Francisco Street.  BPD Officers responded to a residential alarm call.  While checking the residence they were contacted by the homeowner.  The homeowner confirmed that a burglary did occur and that their purse was missing.  The suspect is unknown.

Robbery via Gun, 2800 Block of Hillegass Avenue
On Monday, 7/23/2012, at approximately 11:31 p.m., a robbery via gun occurred in the 2800 block of Hillegass Avenue.  The victims were walking in the area when they were approached by four suspects.  Some of the suspects produced handguns and demanded the victim’s property.  Fearing for their safety the victim’s gave their property to the suspects.  The suspects then fled the area.  The suspects, four juvenile males were later apprehended and arrested by BPD officers.

July 24

Auto Burglary, 100 Block of Seawall Drive
On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, between 6:30 p.m. and 9:04 p.m. an auto burglary occurred in the 100 block of Seawall Drive.  The unknown suspect broke the window to the victim’s vehicle.  The suspect then removed the victim’s bag stealing it and the contents.

Bicycle Theft, 2200 Block of Shattuck Avenue
On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, between 8: p.m. and 10:45 p.m. and unknown suspect stole the victim’s bicycle.  The bicycle was locked and secured to a bicycle rack.  When the victim returned he discovered the bicycle missing.

Robbery, Channing Way/Milvia Street
On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at approximately 5:40 p.m., a robbery occurred in the area of Channing Way and Milvia Streets.  The victim as was approached by the unknown suspect who demanded his property.  The suspect advised the victim that he had a weapon.  The victim fearing for their safety gave the victim his property.  The suspect fled on foot east on Channing Way from Milvia Street. The suspect is described as: Suspect – “Black male juvenile, 16-18 years old, slim build, dark complexion, 5’6”, short black hair wearing a long sleeve light blue shirt and long black jeans.”

Robbery via Gun, 2500 Block of San Pablo Avenue
On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at approximately 9:20 p.m., a robbery via gun occurred in the 2500 block of San Pablo Avenue.  The victim was getting money from an ATM, when the unknown suspect approached him.  The suspect had a gun and demanded the victim’s money.  The victim gave the suspect the money.  The suspect got into a waiting vehicle, which drove from the area. The suspect is described as: Suspect – “Black male, teens, 5’7” tall, 120-130 lbs, thin build, dark complexion wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, armed with a silver gun.” Suspect Vehicle – “80-90’s 4-door, dark blue.”

July 25

Robbery, 2000 Block of Ashby Avenue
On Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at approximately 12:30 a.m. a robbery occurred in the 2000 block of Ashby Avenue.  The victim was walking in the area when he was approached by two unknown suspects.  The suspects demanded the victim’s property.  Fearing for his safety the victim gave his property to the suspect.  The suspects then fled the area. The suspects are described as: Suspect  1 – “Black male, 20s, 6’3”-6’4” tall, 180 lbs, short black hair wearing a gray shirt and gray slacks. Suspect 2 – “Black male, 20’s, 6’3”-6’4” tall, 180 lbs, short dark hair wearing a black shirt and blue jeans.”

Traffic Hazard, Ashby Avenue and 7th Street
On Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at approximately 11:35 a.m., BPD officers responded to the area of Ashby Avenue and 7th Street for a traffic hazard.  It was reported that a live electrical wire was down.  BPD officers quickly arrived on scene and diverted traffic.  The officers maintained their traffic position until the Berkeley Fire Department and PG&E deemed it safe to allow traffic to flow normally again.

July 26

Residential Burglary, 1500 Block of Woolsey Street
On Thursday, July 26, 2012, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a burglary occurred in the 1500 block of Woolsey Street.  The garage to the residence was broken into.  It appears the door may have been unlocked.  The unknown suspect entered the garage and took electronic equipment and camping gear.  The suspect was confronted by a neighbor.  The suspect dropped the property and it was recovered by the neighbor. The suspect is described as: Suspect – “Black male, 45-50 years old, 5’10”-6’ tall, thin-medium build, gray stubble hair and beard wearing a black T-shirt, gray dirty sweatpants and black shoes.”

Auto Burglary, 5th Street/Harrison Street
On, Thursday, July 25, 2012, between 2:00 p.m. and 3:11 p.m., an unknown suspect broke the window to the victim’s locked vehicle.  The suspect stole the victim’s bag and the contents.

July 27

Prowler, 2100 Block of McKinley Avenue
On Friday, July 27, 2012, at 9:45 a.m. an alert neighbor called BPD reporting a suspicious prowler in the 2100 block of McKinley Avenue.  Officers located the suspect, who was identified by the witness.  The adult male suspect was arrested for prowling.

July 28

Vandalism, Delaware Street/Milvia Street
On Saturday, July 28, 2012, at 12:52 a.m., BPD Officers responded to a report of vandalism to a vehicle in the area of Delaware and Milvia Streets.  The officer arrived on scene and discovered there were 8 victim vehicles, all with similar damage.  There is no information on a motive or suspect at this time.

Strong Arm Robbery, 2300 Block of Telegraph Avenue
On Saturday, July 28, 2012, at approximately 6:41 p.m., a strong arm robbery occurred in the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue.  The victim was getting money from an ATM machine.  The suspect approached the victim from behind and forcibly removed the money from the victim’s possession.  The suspect fled on foot and was later apprehended by Berkeley Police Department officers.

Berkeley police blotter not comprehensive, but a snapshot [08.02.12]

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  • this is a great way to report the Berkeley crime–links to crimemapping, etc. now.

    Also, on a side note, good to hear they caught the prowler on McKinley…it must have been difficult…it is *directly* behind the BPD.  Must have been challenging to get over there in time :-)

  • PragmaticProgressive

    In the last story about how this blotter gets put together, we read that “Coats also tries to use her police narrative as a way to educate people.”

    In this instance, I don’t really see that happening.  Let me give a specific example:  there are two cases in which a locked and secured bicycle was stolen.  My sympathies to the owners, but what I really want to know is what kind of lock it was and whether BPD has any updated guidance on how best to protect bicycles from theft.  

  • Tizzilish

    There seems to be no way to prevent bike theft from pro thieves. I had three knocks on my new cannon dale one lock for the seat, a kryptonite lock and a cable padlocked lo that I put thru both tires. I kept it in the access coded bike room of my building. The room has security cameras it was stolen and the thief wore hood to hide face from camera. I love biking but I am done. Too expensive to replace good bikes over and over.

  • Anon

    Sounds like an inside job to me, Tizzlish.

  • Completely_Serious

    Dunno about the rest of you, but I think the biggest BPD story last week was the daylight, armed robbery at Hillegass and Ashby, followed by one of the “troubled youths” pulling a gun on the cops.  Like I said earlier, I’d prefer that sworn officers be on the street, rather than spending hours culling anecdotes.

    Teen pulls gun on Berkeley police after robbery
    By Doug Oakley Oakland Tribune
    07/28/2012 07:16:15 PM PDT
    07/30/2012 08:01:17 AM PDT

    — A young man suspected in an armed robbery pulled a gun on police
    Saturday afternoon and ran away before dropping the weapon and giving
    up, police said.The juvenile suspect, an adult and two other
    juveniles all were arrested in connection with an armed robbery near the
    corner of Hillegass Avenue and Ashby Avenue shortly after 3 p.m., said
    Lt. Dave Frankel.Frankel said the suspect endangered himself and others by drawing a weapon.”Luckily he dropped the gun and ran another block before he gave up,” Frankel said.The other three suspects were detained without incident.Frankel
    said two victims of the armed robbery called police at about 3:10 p.m.
    and said a group of young black men had robbed them of their personal
    belongings with a gun. Officers arrived and within minutes found the
    group and attempted to arrest them when the juvenile pulled out the gun
    and ran away, he said.Frankel did not have the ages of the suspects but said the adul

  • Bryan Garcia

    Is it just me or is there an inordinate amount of robberies that take place in the general area of Stuart between Telegraph and College? I feel like almost every week there is at least one incident reported around there. What’s weird is that that generally seems like a nice neighborhood.

  • bgal4


  • bgal4

    Bike theft is a huge problem here,  which has received little official attention to discourage and suppress.  Once I stopped a thief using a car jack on a U-Lock right on Shattuck mid morning.
    I pulled into a parking space and watched people pass by this guy ignoring the theft .

    One of my sons races, he trains in the hills, he was warned by fellow cyclists that some badboys were targeting riders for their high end bikes, the robberies were committed via gun with a vehicle pulling up in front of a cyclist. Apparently there was a few of these incidents which seems like a series to me, again where is the official alert from the various agencies, UCPD, OPD, BART, and BPD should be coordinating information between jurisdictions.

  • TN

    I have long thought that the biggest obstacle to increasing the modal share of bicycling in Berkeley is not the shortage of bicycle boulevards, protected lanes and such. The biggest obstacle is the long standing problem of the high levels of bicycle theft and vandalism in town.

    Every single survey about bicycling in Berkeley that I know of has pointed to either reducing theft or creating “secured bicycling parking” as being the highest priority for bicyclists. The street improvements rank lower.

    The high theft rate makes bicycling an unreliable mode of transportation. And many people give up on bicycling after their bicycles are stolen.

    I deliberately ride a junky, very old bicycle into which I put as little money as possible. I know from experience that if you park your bicycle in a public or shared space, it will sooner or later be stolen. I’d rather ride something that costs very little, so that I won’t lose much when the inevitable happens. I can always replace it with another junky bicycle from the scrap heap.

  • Kamarie00

    When I see a report of a sexual assault on Crimemapping, I seldom see it here in these Police Blotter articles.  I would DEFINITELY like to see more information about the circumstances of these crimes here.  It is very important to public safety.

  • Guest

     Deadpan comment follows:  How nice of the armed robbers to allow their victims to keep their cell phones so that the victims could call the police on them.

  • Anonymous

     There’s little point in robbing a poor neighborhood.

  • Bryan Garcia

    It’s a little more complicated than that. Following your logic, poor neighborhoods would be virtually free of theft, yet we know that is not the case.

  • Anonymous

     It’s definitely something I factor in when deciding to ride, say, downtown or drive.  If there aren’t any free bike lockers at the BART station I ride home and get my car or have somebody drop me off.  Even really good bike locks can be defeated in seconds when the thieves pull up in a van and have a cordless angle grinder with a cutting wheel on it, at best you deter the low-rent ones that still rely on bottle jacks and freezing the lock.

    The good news in Berkeley is that if you act quickly after your bike is stolen you can usually make it over to Karim Cycle on Telegraph and buy it back from him.  Everybody wins: the junkie who stole it gets his fix, Karim makes money, and you get your bike back.

  • Guesticca

    It’s nice, but very close to a not-so-nice area.  Also, the traffic barriers that divert most cars onto the main drags mean that there are fewer potential witnesses on the quiet, residential side streets, making the attractive to muggers.

  • bgal4

     Karim shop is a fire hazard, why hasn’t code enforcement done anything about that disaster of a shop.

  • Guesticca

    When my bike gets stolen, I generally prefer to  look for it at the Ashby Flea Market.  The customer service there is about 100 times better than at Karim. 

  • Charles_Siegel

     The solution is to get cheap bikes.  I have a mountain bike that I got over 10 years ago, when a friend of my son’s gave it away because he bought a fancier bike.  It has been an excellent bike for commuting, exercise, and off-road.

    That is my good bike: I use a 50-year-old three-speed that I found on the street and repaired to ride to BART, because I don’t want to leave my mountain bike at the station all day.

  • Anonymous

     Good tip.  You can also pick up some incense and a plate of jerk chicken.

  • Anonymous

     I have a beater that leave around when I have to and use when it’s really rainy but even that has had its nasty saddle stolen.  If you figure Karim or one of the flea market people gives you even $10 for a beater it’s worth it if it’s just secured with a cable.

    It’s interesting to contrast with this with somewhere like Copenhagen.  I was amazed to see that even in the “worst” areas people just secured their often really nice bikes with those funny little ring locks on their rear wheels.  It basically just says “this is not a communal bike”.  Even in Frankfurt, which is a rough city by western Europe standards, cable locks that would last about 10 seconds here are basically all you see.

  • Anonymous

     Someone I know was robbed like that a year and a half ago on MLK.  A pack of urban youth ran out of nowhere and knocked him off his bike, stomped and robbed him, and left him for dead in the middle of the street.  Fortunately it was late at night so he wasn’t run over by a car but other than the very unexceptional bike they got a wallet with $20 in it and a backpack with some books in it.  There were some similar attacks on the Ohlone Greenway around the same time but haven’t heard of any for a while.

  • Charles_Siegel

     Street improvements are less important to people already bicycling, but they are more important to people who do not already bicycle.  They are the most important thing we can do to promote a mode shift to more bicycling. 

  • TN

    The problem is not getting people to try bicycling. Who hasn’t bicycled as a child? Who in Berkeley hasn’t tried it out for a while? The problem in Berkeley is getting people to keep bicycling.

    Bicycle thefts from public spots deter people who were obviously already bicycling for transportation from continuing to do so.

    Berkeley, perhaps because it is a college oriented town, has always had a high rate of bicycle usage. The rate have always ranged between 15 and 20 % of traffic in various surveys over decades. The problem is that this percentage hasn’t grown much even with greater environmental consciousness.

  • PragmaticProgressive


  • PragmaticProgressive

    So who is buying them? Can BPD do a sting operation? Is there LoJack for bikes yet?

  • bgal4

     Many Flea Markets prohibit bike sales recognizing that allowing bike sales encourages bike theft. Berkeley being special does not prohibit bike or drug sales at its flea market.

  • bgal4

    I am familiar with the urban knock out game, it is not about the theft it is played for thrills and power.

  • Anon

    Peter Rich, the long time owner of the now defunct Velo Sport Berkeley, once told me that organized bike theft rings (more than just “junkies”) accumulate a fairly large inventory of stolen bikes of all kinds, then transport them in rented moving vans southward, often to Mexico or points south where the resale value is (believe it or not) better than in the USA and there’s no risk of reselling them there.  Not sure how they get the vans across the border filled with 60 + stolen bikes, but undocumented aliens are the mules.

    Every once in a while, police stumble on these large bike stashes when executing a search warrant usually for a different crime.  Ironically, few of these recovered bikes (especially the junkers) are ever reclaimed by the original owners.  Instead, most recovered stolen bikes end up being auctioned off every so often by UC or other police agencies and it can be a good way to acquire a decent (stolen) bike at a low to very low price.

    Personally, I doubt Karim’s buys a lot of bikes directly from thieves.  That was investigated some years back and Karim was more or less exonerated.  While he may deserve his sleazy reputation for this and other reasons, I am guessing most stolen bikes resold at Karim’s are being first fenced at the Ashby Flea Market or purchased (legally) by Karim or his representatives at police auctions.

  • Anonymous

    But Peter was surely talking about nice bikes and something like chop shop operations that part stolen cars out? I mean, it can’t be any harder to get a Chinese Walmart bike in Mexico than here.
    BPD only found a handful of known stolen bikes at Karim’s but numerous ones with the serial numbers removed. And then there’s that mountain of front wheels he has. Are there really that many people that know they should register their bikes with the police anyway?

  • Brad

    Berkleyside should make the whole list available, even if not nicely formatted.