7 arrests, 3 firearms recovered, during 1 week in Berkeley

Berkeley Police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeley Police have made seven arrests linked to four crimes involving firearms in the past week. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeley Police have arrested seven people and confiscated three firearms in connection with a robbery, two traffic stops and a suspicious person call over the past week, police reported Monday in response to a request from Berkeleyside. All four cases reportedly involved firearms, but a weapon was not recovered in one of the incidents.

Last Tuesday, at about 1 p.m., police responded to a report of a suspicious person in a parking garage at 2450 Durant Ave. Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said via email that a man appeared to be casing vehicles. Police responded and detained the man, Alexander Iaccarino, who was found to be in possession of stolen property taken from a burglary reported in Vallejo, according to Coats.

Iaccarino, 20, was also found to be in possession of a firearm, police said. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, carrying a concealed firearm and various other charges. He was scheduled for arraignment Nov. 1, and no longer appeared to be in custody as of Monday, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

On Friday, Nov. 1, a female was walking in the 2600 block of Derby Street at 8:30 p.m. when a young man approached her and pointed a firearm at her. He took her phone and started to reach for her purse, said Coats, which the victim turned over to him, fearing for her safety. The man fled on foot, but police detained him near Regent Street and Dwight Way and arrested him on suspicion of robbery, Coats said.

The man was identified as Kalee Jelani Gibbs, 18, of Berkeley. The weapon was not recovered, said Coats. Gibbs is scheduled for arraignment Nov. 5, and is being held on bail of $100,000, according to the sheriff’s department.

On Saturday, Nov. 2, police arrested two people in a vehicle at Telegraph Avenue and Howe Street who had a loaded firearm in their possession. Just before 9 p.m., a Berkeley Police officer conducted a traffic stop at Telegraph and Howe, and attempted to search the passenger, identified as Alexander McGee, 23, of Oakland because he was on probation. Coats said McGee tried to flee, and actively resisted police efforts: “It took several officers to detain” him, said Coats. Police found a loaded firearm in the vehicle in an area accessible to both McGee and the driver, Abiel Briceno, 33, of Oakland.

McGee was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, resisting a peace officer, probation violation and parole violation. He is being held without bail due to the parole violation. Briceno is being held on $80,000 bail on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm and carrying a loaded firearm. They are scheduled for arraignment Nov. 5, according to the sheriff’s department.

Sunday, police arrested three teens from Concord after finding them with a concealed, loaded firearm during a traffic stop, said Coats. At about 1:15 a.m., police tried to stop a vehicle at Dana Street and Bancroft Way on the southern border of the Cal campus. During their investigation, police conducted a vehicle search and found the loaded weapon. Coats said all three of the vehicle’s occupants had access to the weapon, so all three were arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm.

According to the Alameda County sheriff’s department, they also were arrested on suspicion of participating in a criminal street gang.

Police identified the young men as Oscar Torres, 19; Zackery Lopez, 18; and Juan Ochoa, 18. They are being held at the Berkeley Jail with a bail of $90,000 and are scheduled for arraignment Tuesday, Nov. 5.

(Editor’s note: Most of these incidents took place after the period covered in Berkeleyside’s weekly police blotter report, which also was released today. In the interest of timely reporting, they are rounded up here.)

Berkeleyside Police Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Oct. 24-30 (11.04.13)
Shots fired early Saturday near West Berkeley park (11.02.13)
Police arrest mother, daughter after Berkeley Hills burglary (11.01.13)
2 charged with robbery after drug deal gone awry (10.30.13)
Berkeleyside Police Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Oct. 17-23 (10.28.13)

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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  • bgal4

    How is this suppose to help? this is the flyer placed on our block cars.

    BOCA Ceasefire Walk Against Violence

    Night Walk Against Violence
    November 7, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
    McGee Avenue Baptist Church, 1640 Stuart St, Berkeley, CA 94703
    Don’t miss our walk in the South Berkeley neighborhood starting at McGee
    Avenue and Stuart Street in response to a gun death nearby earlier in
    the year. Rain or shine!

  • Berkeleyborn123

    It won’t, but I have a feeling we are both on the same page with this issue. The Berkeley Police Department and UC Police Department making a strong visual presence as well a working under cover on campus, around campus in vehicles, off campus in high crime areas, on bikes, and on foot, making good arrests, confiscating weapons, and deterring people from victimizing students and others is what will work…

  • Devin

    Hi bgal, this is a perfect example of why I can’t always get behind what I see as your well-intentioned comments. I guess the question I’d pose back is how does it hurt? Or maybe, how does criticizing folks who want the same thing as you effectively help your position?

    Less guns on our streets is a good thing and if even one person found solace in a neighborhood walk, it seems to me that is not a waste. I know it would make me feel more of an active member in my neighborhood to participate in something like this, meet people, share experiences, give people a heads up about problem areas or people…etc.

  • Woolsey

    Good to see one of our local boys–Kalee Gibbs–apparently getting in on the action. Sort of depressing when all the assaults and robberies are done by outsiders. Could this by our guy:

  • bgal4

    I wasn’t asking for validation, I asked how does this help. I don’t really think you are so simple minded to miss the obvious, this is an effort to appear that BOCA is doing community outreach in order to justify ongoing city funding.

  • B2B

    There was one of these walks in my neighborhood not so long ago. I understand the sentiment behind it, but it’s just pointless. The guys with guns out there don’t care if we walk around in a little group for a couple hours and it doesn’t carry any momentum anyway.

  • guns aren’t the problem

    The problem isn’t guys with guns.
    The problem is *bad* guys with guns.

    The police have guns too and that’s a good thing.

  • Juice Weasel

    As long as Berkeley is close to Oakland this sort of thing won’t make a difference.

  • Devin

    It helps by creating common ground to come together. Even if its run by clueless bleeding heart liberals and people trying to maintain their funding and get re-elected, that doesn’t change the fact that its people making an effort, taking time out of their day to show they support a cause.

    So why not hijack what would otherwise be a pointless effort? Show up and turn it into a useful event. If nothing else, its a forum for you to express ideas / suggest things that would help people be a part of making a difference (even if they may be more naive than yourself). Perhaps I am starry-eyed and refuse to view things too negatively, but its really hard for me to view BOCA (a group made up of church members) as entirely evil. We need to pool our efforts, not drive wedges between similar sides – please be a leader, don’t just put down misplaced efforts.

  • bgal4

    no offense, but who are you? do you have any REAL idea about the politics at play. this city has gotten the best of me already, and BOCA has demonstrated repeatedly over several decades they have NO interest in partnering or even listening to the neighborhood group concerns. At one point the city manager neighborhood liaison and I attended a few BOCA meeting in an attempt to coordinate efforts, they were deaf and focused on a dead end project, smut in corner news stands. BOCA has a scrip by design through their parent organization PICO.

    I used to be starring eyed too. Long ago

    for clarification, no where did I bring up the concept of evil. I complained about the groups’ self promotion and ineffective programming.

  • guest

    “As long as Berkeley is close to Oakland this sort of thing won’t make a difference.”

    What does this mean?

    Berkeley will be “close to” Oakland as long as both exist.

    What “sort of thing” won’t make a difference? Effective policing?