Police arrest parolee linked to North Berkeley burglaries

Berkeley Police officers arrested a man in December whom they say has been linked to burglaries in North Berkeley. Image Source: Google Maps

Berkeley Police officers arrested a man in December whom they say has been linked to burglaries in North Berkeley. Police said they initially spotted the man driving in Berkeley (near Point A), pursued him to the area of Point B, then underwent a foot search to locate him near Point C. The directional lines on the map indicate chronology only, and are not intended to depict the actual routes used. Image Source: Google Maps

The Berkeley Police Department has arrested a local man they say appears to be linked to several North Berkeley burglaries, officials said Thursday. Police found the man, a felon, in possession of weapons and ammunition after a car chase from south Berkeley into Emeryville in late December.

On Dec. 22, 2012, Berkeley Police officers near Harmon and California streets in south Berkeley spotted a sedan matching the description of a car reported to be involved in several burglaries and possibly a robbery in Berkeley, said Officer Jennifer Coats, police spokeswoman, via email.

Officers tried to stop the driver, who fled from police “at a high rate of speed,” said Coats.

After about a mile, he veered into a dead end in the 1200 block of 65th Street in Emeryville then got out of the vehicle, running away and leaving a female passenger in the car. Coats said the man discarded a pistol, which police later recovered, as he ran.

Police found the driver — identified as Richard Stewart, 28, of Berkeley — hiding in the 1200 block of 63rd Street during a search undertaken with help from the Emeryville Police Department’s K-9 Unit.

Coats said she did not know whether the woman in the car was arrested, but that she would try to follow up with Berkeleyside next week with that information.

After arresting Stewart, shortly after midnight, police determined that the vehicle he’d been driving had been reported stolen, said Coats; officers found several stolen items and a loaded rifle in the vehicle.

Stewart was arrested on suspicion of several criminal violations, including possession of a stolen vehicle, being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of loaded firearms, evading police and two outstanding warrants for his arrest, as well as parole and probation violations.

Coats said Berkeley Police detectives have continued to follow up on the stolen property found in the vehicle, and that some of the items in the vehicle have been linked to several burglaries in North Berkeley.

Coats said the exact number of burglaries was not available Thursday afternoon but that she could attempt to provide it next week.

In late 2012, police investigated a spate of home burglaries in North Berkeley, at least some of which they said seemed to be connected. Two of those burglaries, one on Senior Avenue and one Fairlawn Drive, turned violent when the crimes were interrupted.

Coats said police cannot confirm whether Stewart was connected to the robberies on Senior and Fairlawn due to the ongoing nature of the investigation. Police are not releasing a photograph of Stewart at this time “to ensure the integrity of our investigation.”

Stewart is scheduled to appear in court Friday, Jan. 11, for a preliminary examination hearing at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland in Dept. 112 at 8:30 a.m., according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

Stewart is being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

There were six reports of home break-ins in the north Berkeley Hills area from Dec. 22 through Jan. 9 (the most recent date available), according to the Berkeley Police Department’s CrimeView Community.

32 robberies in recent 30-day stretch in Berkeley [12.28.12]
Berkeley hills neighbors anxious after recent robberies [12.21.12]
Berkeley man injured after interrupting home burglary [12.12.12]
Armed robberies in Berkeley used Craigslist fraud [08.20.12]

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

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  • History

    More central banker control or more people ignorant of central banker control is what kills people, you mental slob. Read world history you lazy dolt. Guns are tools, not thinking entities.

  • Dell

    Would you feel better off if local police force used SWAT tactics and automatic weapons for regular police work? You better be okay with that, because it’s already here. The police already know what makes them safer. Why not for you and me?

  • Dell

    Police said… police said… police said… police said. What if the police got it wrong, as they often do? Care to cite other sources for this story?

  • Howie Mencken

    If you would suggest some likely independent sources, I’m sure the cops would like to talk to them too.

  • guest

    “Looks like the police did not include the full list of violations for which he was arrested —
    this appears also to include two felony counts of burglary…”

    This clarifies the part of my confusion that stemmed from my assumption that the list of charges in the article included all of the charges actually brought against the arrested person.


    “So I don’t think we know enough (unless you have been told something different from police) to think he’s not connected to the hills burglaries.”

    The BPD statement that I saw said BPD “cannot confirm if the person arrested in this incident is connected to the incidents on Senior Avenue or Fairlawn Drive.”

    You previously reported that the person on Senior was the one who had been run over by the burglars. Surely he must have been at least one source of the vehicle description that justified the stop. This victim must have been asked whether the person in custody was one of the people who burglarizing his house, hit him and ran over him. So the remaining source of confusion is BPD’s inability to connect the suspect to the crime on Senior.

  • guest

    Are you asking for independent sources to verify what happened during the stop, chase, and apprehension? Who besides the (Berkeley and Emeryville) police, the person who was arrested, and the woman he so gallantly left behind when he ran would know the details?

  • bgal4


    It is also worth noting that relatively gun-free countries are not as
    peaceful as many think. Here are some recent crime data comparing the
    U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Sweden. Although the U.S. has a higher
    rate of homicide, the problem of assaults in these other countries is
    much worse. (And judging from the data on rape, we might want to give
    Aussie and Swedish women some guns.[1])

    Incidents in the year 2010 per 100,000 population


    U.S. 4.8

    UK (includes Northern Ireland) 1.2

    Australia 1.0

    Sweden 1.0


    U.S. 27.3

    UK (England and Wales) 28.8

    Australia 88.4

    Sweden 63.5


    U.S. 250.9

    U.K. (England and Wales) 664.4

    Australia 766

    Sweden 936.6

    Scotland 1449.7

    Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

    Note: UNODC data and those of the Australian government do not
    agree. For Australian rates of Assault and Rape, I have relied on the
    report issued by the Australian Institute of Criminology

    So, while the U.S. has many more murders, the U.K., Australia, and
    Sweden have much higher levels of assault (I broke out the data on
    Scotland just to emphasize the point). One might think that having a few
    more murders per 100,000 persons each year is still much worse than
    having many hundreds more assaults. Perhaps it is. (One could also
    argue, as several readers have, that differences in proportion are all
    we should care about.) But there should be no doubt that the term
    “assault” often conceals some extraordinary instances of physical and
    psychological suffering.

  • Vladislav_Davidzon

    Thanks for the data, but you have provided exactly zero evidence that links the supposed increase in other crimes to lack of guns rather than other differences in law enforcement and other policies. Australia, in my personal experience, appears to be about 20 years behind the US in the way they treat sexism — that might have something to do with the rape statistic, and that’s just one example.

    Thanks, but no thanks. We can save around 9000 people per year by banning guns. That’s a no-brainer. Of course people will whine — as they whine about our laws banning tobacco smoking in some places, seat belts, not to mention asbestos.

  • bgal4

    Read the essay on violence and guns entirely. This are complex problems we all want to solve. Banning certain weapons, particularly assault magazine will help with certain types of violence crime, the larger context of violence needs multiple targets for reforms.

    Personally, I am pro gun control. But I am more interested in the much larger, daily and significant homicide problem, illegal handguns used by gangsters.

    Australia overall is not less violent. That was the point of posting the stats.

  • Charles_Siegel

    These statistics sound like a good argument for gun control.

    Eg. Australia has three times as many assaults as the US, meaning that they have more violent fights that we do.

    But Australia has only one-quarter as many homicides as the US, meaning that far fewer of their fights escalate to the level of murder.

    It seems obvious that one reason fights are much more likely to lead to murders in the US is because Americans are much more likely to have guns. In Australia, when there is a fight, they are likely to duke it out with their fists or with knives. In the US, when there is a fight, someone is more likely to pull a gun.

    No one ever claimed that gun control would reduce the number of assaults. That wouldn’t make any sense at all.

    But it does make sense that fewer guns would reduce the number of homicides.

  • Charles_Siegel

    The police know it makes it safer for them to have automatic weapons.

    Therefore it would make me safer if everyone on my block had an automatic weapon.

    That makes a lot of sense (until one of my neighbors gets mad at me).

  • guest

    One of the mothers (she lost two of her sons to gun violence) featured in today’s Chronicle article put it this way. “”When I was growing up in Oakland, we fought. But kids these days play with guns.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Bay-Area-homicide-rate-rises-in-2012-4189892.php#ixzz2HtYF3Kqu

  • Charles_Siegel

    I am not an expert, but I believe that the courts have recently made it more difficult to use eyewitness testimony. From the decision Perry vs. New Hampshire (2012), as quoted in Wikipedia:

    “The Due Process Clause does not require a preliminary judicial inquiry
    into the reliability of an eyewitness identification when the
    identification was not procured under unnecessarily suggestive
    circumstances arranged by law enforcement”

    Which implies that there must be an inquiry into the eyewitness testimony if it is procured under suggestive circumstances arranged by law enforcement.

    I think it has been known for a long time that eyewitness testimony is not very reliable, though it is accepted as reliable by juries. I am a fan of Perry Mason novels, so I can tell you that Earl Stanley Gardner said this over and over again as early as the 1930s, and many of the novels detail the ways that the police and DA lead eyewitnesses to make a more definite identification.

    I think that recently, the courts have began to act on this fact by requiring more examination of eyewitness testimony, and I suspect that is why the police are not releasing photos.

    And I think that “Perry vs. New Hampshire” had nothing to do with Perry Mason vs the state of New Hampshire.

  • bgal4

    Might be true.However the rhetoric about guns and violent culture in the US often link the two directly.

  • bgal4

    Illegal guns and gangster culture. The vast majority of U.S. gun homicides are young black males 14-24 years old, shot by other young black males, 8x more than white and Hispanic males together.

  • bgal4

    Fights and assaults are not the same animal.

  • BHS verteran

    Do you care to cite other sources for this story?

  • BHS verteran

    Oh the beauty of choice! Previously all we could do was swallow the planet’s police state conspiracies whole. Now we have Berkeleyside promoting the possibility of credence from the cops!

  • Missy K.

    And you provided zero data to show any argument for gun control. Punk off.

  • Trepid

    I’m not the one who wrote the story, wise ass.

  • BHS verteran

    Thanks! I’m wiser than one who believes Da Man is conspiracising low end thugz.