Berkeley Police: Drug busts, shoplifters sought and more

Police have identified a pattern of commercial burglaries in downtown Berkeley in October. Image: Berkeley Police
Police have identified a pattern of commercial burglaries in downtown Berkeley in October. Image: Berkeley Police

Earlier this year, the Berkeley Police Department relaunched its monthly newsletter to inform the community about notable arrests and incidents, as well as crime prevention tips and safety resources. Along with beat maps and police contacts for each neighborhood, the newsletter highlights arrests and open cases in Berkeley from the prior month. The ninth edition of the newsletter came out in October. Scroll down for highlights.

Help from the community

Image: BPD
Image: BPD

SHOPLIFTING SUSPECT SOUGHT Police say the man to the left is believed to have stolen a jacket from a store in the 2500 block of Telegraph Avenue. Police ask anyone with information to call the department’s Property Crimes Unit at 510-981-5737 or email bwilson@ci.berkeley.ca.us.

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY ALERT Police reported on Oct. 17 that there had been a spate of burglaries in downtown Berkeley businesses in the prior few weeks. (See the map above.) Most of these incidents take place from 1-4 a.m. Burglars gain entry by breaking windows or doors. Police remind businesses not to leave cash in the register; lock the cash drawer; and make sure the alarm system and video surveillance equipment are active. Police ask anyone with information about commercial burglary incidents to call the Property Crimes Unit at 510-981-5737.

Image: BPD
Image: BPD

SHOPLIFTING SUSPECT SOUGHT Police say the man to the right was reported to be stealing alcohol from a store on Telegraph Avenue. Police ask anyone with information to call the department’s Property Crimes Unit at 510-981-5737 or email bwilson@ci.berkeley.ca.us. (Click the image to view a larger version on page 4 of the newsletter.)


Image: BPD
Image: BPD

HANDGUN ROBBERY ON SACRAMENTO Police are looking for a man who is reported to have robbed a Sacramento Avenue liquor store on Sept. 6 at 6:35 p.m. using a handgun.Police ask anyone with information about the crime or the man’s identity to call the Robbery Unit at 510-981-5742, or email bwilson@ci.berkeley.ca.us.

TIP JAR THEFTS After a series of thefts from tip jars in North Berkeley businesses, police released several surveillance camera images and asked the public for help to identify the man. Read the full story on Berkeleyside

Image: BPD
Image: BPD

Noteworthy calls and arrests

COCAINE BUST On Sept. 11 at 8:40 p.m., Officer Andrew Frankel was patrolling on San Pablo Avenue and Bancroft Way when he noticed a vehicle with expired registration. He stopped the driver, who said he was unlicensed and didn’t have any paperwork for the vehicle. As Frankel searched the vehicle to prepare for an unlicensed driver tow, he found nearly an ounce of powder cocaine. 

STOLEN CREDIT CARDS Officer Ben Phelps was patrolling near Bancroft Way and Byron Street on Sept. 16 at 1 a.m. when he spotted two people inside a parked vehicle on Byron. He took a closer look and recognized one of them as someone who had been described in a prior theft case. He spoke with the vehicle occupants, and found that one of them had a search clause due to his probation status. Phelps found drug paraphernalia and nearly a dozen credit cards that did not belong to the man. Read the full story on Berkeleyside.

MARIJUANA, ROCK COCAINE ARREST On Sept. 20 at 9:15 p.m., officer Miguel Salazar was patrolling on Sacramento Street near Ashby Avenue when he spotted a van with several rear lights that weren’t working. When he stopped the driver for the violation, he noticed “something peculiar” about its gas tank cover. He took a closer look and found the cap to be ajar; inside, he spotted two bags. One held a green leafy substance and the other contained off-white colored rocks. Salazar removed the bags, and found marijuana and rock cocaine, both packaged for sale. He searched the vehicle and found nearly half an ounce of marijuana, more than a dozen rocks of cocaine, and some methamphetamine as well.


MEDEARIS HOMICIDE ARRESTS Police have made two arrests in connection with the shooting of Anthony Medearis in September. One of the suspects, Darnell Williams of Oakland, was arrested the day of the shooting, and had been held on a parole violation. Authorities linked Williams to a shooting in Oakland that they believe was retribution for the killing in Berkeley of Jermaine Davis in July. He and another man were charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office for the Oakland killing, of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine, on Oct. 1. Police also arrested Laquana Nuno, 28, of Stockton, in connection with the Medearis homicide. Read the full story on Berkeleyside.

Other information

COMMUNITY OUTREACH The Alameda County district attorney’s office, University of California Police Department and BART Police Department are happy to speak at neighborhood meetings. To arrange a speaker from the DA’s office, click here. For UCPD, call officer Wade MacAdam at 510-642-3722 or email wmacadam@berkeley.edu. For BART, call community services officer Crystal Raine at 510-464-7052, or email her at craine@bart.gov.

CYBERBULLYING PREVENTION TIPS The latest Police Department newsletter includes a wealth of information on cyberbullying. Learn what it is, how to work to prevent it and when to seek help from authorities. Also learn about several common mistakes to avoid. Page 5 of the newsletter has all the information.

PROGRAMS FOR TEENS Berkeley’s Young Adult Project hosts teen group nights on Mondays and Wednesdays where teens can meet with counselors and each other to discuss a range of issues, from how to have open conversations with adults, to hygiene and body care, and more. Free food is offered, and young men meet separately from young women. Learn more by calling Ginsi Bryant at 510-981-6671.

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS Find a slew of them in the newsletter on pages 11-12. Tips include what makes a costume safe, how to carve pumpkins carefully, how to minimize risks while trick-or-treating, and how to have a healthy night.


SUICIDE PREVENTION Police responded to five incidents involving suicide or attempted suicide from Sept. 18 to Oct. 7. On Sept. 18, officers responded to a report of a military veteran who had threatened to kill himself on Roble Road. According to the man’s friend, the veteran was suffering from PTSD and was armed with two knives. When police found the man, he was extremely agitated, and holding up two knives to his neck. Police tried to get him to drop the weapons and calm down, but were unable to do so. They fired a single rubber baton round at him to try to subdue him; he froze momentarily but then ran away while stabbing himself. He eventually collapsed in a driveway and dropped the knives. Officers applied pressure to the man’s wounds, as well as a tourniquet, and were able to keep the man alive until paramedics arrived. He was taken to the hospital for treatment for life-threatening injuries, but ultimately survived. Police responded to four other suicide-related calls recently: on Sept. 20 in the 1300 block of Burnett Street; on Sept. 21 in the 2500 block of Ridge Road; on Sept. 24 in the 1600 block of Milvia Street; and on Oct. 7 at the North Berkeley BART station. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Risk factors include previous suicide attempts, a history of depression or mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, physical illness and feelings of loneliness. Alameda County offers 24-hour crisis support via a hotline, 800-309-2131. Berkeley has a Mobile Mental Health Crisis Team, which can be reached at 510-981-5244.  

Residents can sign up to receive the monthly police newsletter by sending an email to police@cityofberkeley.info, or to their local beat officer

Related:
Berkeley Police: Gas station hold-ups, vandalism, more (08.08.13)
Berkeley Police: Auto burglars, dogs and more (07.17.13)
Berkeley Police: Gunshots on Harmon and more (05.15.13)
Berkeley Police newsletter: Car stop nets guns and more (04.25.13)
Police newsletter: Thieves sought, burglars caught (03.13.13)

2013 Berkeley Police Department newsletters:
Issue 1 * Issue 2 * Issue 3 * Issue 4 * Issue 5 * Issue 6 * Issue 7 * Issue 8 * Issue 9

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.