The following items represent just a sampling of calls, most of which were selected by the Berkeley Police Department. See past crime blotters, including Berkeleyside’s list from last week’s calls for service.
See also Local Crime News’ regularly published list of arrests of Berkeley residents. Other sources of information on crime in Berkeley include the Police Department’s CrimeView Community and CrimeMapping.com.
From Jan. 13-19, there were 15 burglary reports, 28 auto break-in or theft reports, and six stolen vehicle reports to the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.com. Nine robberies and 18 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries were reported. These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information.
Scroll down below the briefs for safety tips following recent reports of cell phone thefts. According to a notice sent Thursday, the Berkeley Police Department is investigating “several reports of cell phone thefts through the use of a ruse. The suspects are taking advantage of people’s willingness to help others. As a ruse, the suspect(s) will ask to use a victim’s cell phone — usually claiming the need to contact a sick family member. Once the suspect has the cell phone, the suspect(s) drive off in a vehicle—stealing the phone.”
Jan. 13, Sunday: Between 2:35 and 2:55 p.m. a burglary occurred in the 1000 block of Delaware Street. The victim had left his home, with the door unlocked, for a short period of time. He returned and discovered that a thief had gone inside and stolen his computer. The thief was able to get inside via the unlocked door.
Jan. 14, Monday: Between 6:30 and 6:50 p.m. an auto burglary occurred in the 1700 block of Spruce Street. The victim had parked his vehicle on the street and went into his home. He returned a short time later and discovered his vehicle window broken. A thief had stolen the victim’s backpack, which contained a cell phone and iPad.
Jan. 15, Tuesday: At about 4:20 p.m. a thief stole a vehicle that had been parked near Bay and Potter streets. The victim said she had locked her vehicle, and that it had been stolen while she was rowing at Aquatic Park. The vehicle taken was a blue-colored 2011 Hyundai Elantra.
Jan. 16, Wednesday: At about 10 a.m. a robbery occurred near the intersection of Bancroft Way and McGee Street. The female victim was walking when she was approached by an unknown teenage male. The robber tried to steal the victim’s cell phone. They struggled over the phone; the suspect managed to get only the ear buds before fleeing. The robber was described as black, 16- to 18-years-old and 5 feet 6 inches tall. He was wearing a black baseball hat, black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.
Jan. 17, Thursday: At about 6 p.m. a robbery occurred near the intersection of Virginia and Sacramento streets. The male victim was walking when he was approached by two teenage boys. The teens forcibly stole the victim’s cell phone and wallet, then pushed him to the ground. Both were described as black males, 15- to 17-years-old, 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 11 inches tall, and 140 to 150 pounds. They each were wearing a black- or gray-colored hooded sweatshirt.
Jan. 18, Friday: At about 10 a.m. an employee of a non-profit organization in the 1900 block of Addison Street discovered that the business had been burglarized. The employee had left the previous night at about 10:15 p.m., securing the business. She returned in the morning and found that the door had been forced open and the business’ computers had been taken.
Jan. 19, Saturday: Between 10 and 10:30 p.m. a thief stole a wallet from inside a business in the 1600 block of Shattuck Avenue. The victim said she had set down her purse on the floor beside her. She left it unattended for a moment and someone stole her wallet.
Also on Saturday, police responded to a call about gunshots around 67th Street and San Pablo Avenue at about 5:50 p.m. The incident ultimately was handled by the Oakland Police Department. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said authorities discovered that a shooting had occurred; no other details were available about the incident. Berkeley officers helped with traffic control and also checked the area for suspects.
COMMUNITY SAFETY TIP: Cell phone safety via the Berkeley Police
- Don’t lend your phone to anyone you don’t know or take it out of your purse, pocket or bag to give someone the time, if asked.
- Walk with purpose: Project an assertive image that conveys you know where you are going.
- Avoid isolation: Avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways; stick to well-lit, high-traffic areas.
- Keep a safe distance: Don’t let people get too close, even if they appear to have a reason, such as asking for the time.
- Don’t talk on cell phones or listen to iPods when alone outside, as they significantly limit awareness.
- Trust your instincts: Trusting your own instincts that a situation seems “wrong” can be the best personal safety tool you have.
The Berkeley Police Department includes this disclaimer: “Please note that these are Calls For Police Services (CFS) only and are subject to review and reclassification. These CFS numbers only reflect part one crimes reported to BPD. The numbers reflected in the report are only a snapshot of what occurs in the City of Berkeley. The numbers are considered for informational purposes only and should not be used for data analysis or comparison to other agencies. Cases may be reclassified after further review of the incident, by supervisors, investigating detectives or the District Attorney as appropriate.”