News Brief

Police respond to burglary in progress in North Berkeley after neighbor tip

On Thursday Feb. 7 at around 4:30 p.m. a burglary in progress was interrupted in the 1500 block of La Vereda Road in north Berkeley after an alert neighbor spotted something suspicious and flagged down a police car.

According to Berkeley Police Lt. Kevin Schofield, a police officer was alerted at 4:37 p.m. about a possible burglary. Multiple officers responded to a call-out. “Unfortunately the suspect got away,” Schofield said. The suspect had pried open a door and prowled around the home.

Several local residents contacted Berkeleyside to request information on the incident. One neighbor reported seeing an officer with a drawn gun which Schofield said is very common in incidents such as this one when police are trying to track down and apprehend a criminal.

Another neighbor told Berkeleyside his wife had witnessed “a large phalanx of police vehicles — maybe 8-10 — with officers spread out in the hills at Cedar and Loma Linda. No lights [were] flashing.”

La Vereda Road runs parallel to La Loma Avenue to the west of the Berkeley Lab campus.

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  • Nitpicker

    Thank you for the valuable news flash. I would just implore you as professional journalists, to please figure out how to distinguish a “robbery” from a “burglary” which, both legally and in police speak, are two entirely different animals. Sometimes, a burglary could turn into a robbery if the owner stumbles upon the burglary in progress (I guess the crime on Senior Ave. might fall into this rubric), but generally they are totally separate crimes. It would be akin to having a headline announcing a car jacking to report a garden variety auto theft or break in.

  • bgal4

    It is often a question of force, it would be helpful to have citywide data breaking down burglaries by forced entry vs opportunity.
    Same with robberies, strong armed and armed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_prowl_burglary

  • http://berkeleyside.com Tracey Taylor

    Nitpicker: I slipped up in the headline by using the word robbery instead of burglary. Fixed that now. Apologies and thanks for pointing that out. (I do know the difference between a burglary and a robbery!)

  • guest

    Lieutenant Kevin Schofield.

  • Shrinkwrapper

    Noticed the locksmith at work today. Probably a good time to think about putting deadbolts on doors, and safeguards on vulnerable windows.

  • Neighbor

    I was walking on La Vereda today and happened to hear some neighbors talking about the incident. They seemed to think it was a woman in her twenties who had been squatting at a vacant residence.

  • Truth Sayer

    The one thing I highly recommend in addition to installing a deadbolt to your existing exterior doors, is to hardend the door hindges and bolt plates. Let me explain. Initially when installed, most exterior doors have a thin 3/4 pine frame that the door hinges and lock plate are screwed into this frame. The screws are only about an inch long, or less, and do not go beyond the soft wood frame. I would remove one screw from the hindge and one from the bolt plate (the heads are usually different sizes). If they are not 2 inches in length, take it to your hardware store and request 2 inch screws with the same size heads so that the screws go into the house studs and screw heads rest flat on the bolt and the hinge plate. I would put at least one 2″ screw in each hinge and two in each bolt plate. You may need a drill and a bit smaller than the screws so that the screws go in easy. By doing the aforementioned, you have taken the extra step to make it more difficult for your doors to be forced in.

  • guest

    “[A]n alert neighbor spotted something suspicious and flagged down a police car. ..The suspect had pried open a door and prowled around the
    home.”

    It would be interesting to know if the person who reported this “something suspicious” thinks that whatever it was merited degree of response from the police.

  • guest

    …merited THIS degree of response…

  • emraguso

    We got this breakdown from police as far as types of robberies –
    * Strong-arm: 173 physical force (from small amount of force, such as grabbing/momentary struggle, to physical violence with injury)
    * Firearm: 126 (real or lookalike)
    * Knife: 21 (or other cutting)
    * Other:12 (Other dangerous means)
    * Threat: 2

  • bgal4

    Thanks Emily. about 40% with a gun, which is similar to the prior year.
    Not good IMO.