Teen arrested after cellphone robbery in Berkeley

Strawberry Creek Park in Berkeley. Image: Google maps

Strawberry Creek Park in Berkeley. Image: Google maps

Thursday evening, police tracked a teenage boy believed to have robbed a male victim of his cellphone to Strawberry Creek Park in West Berkeley, where they arrested him.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, the victim flagged down an officer in front of the Public Safety Building, on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, to report the cellphone robbery, which had taken place in Ohlone Park, at 1701 Hearst Ave.

The time of that incident and details about what happened were not available Friday. Berkeleyside has requested additional information.

Coats said via email that police learned that the person responsible for the robbery had gone to Strawberry Creek Park, several blocks southwest of Ohlone Park. Officers organized a team to respond to the park to find him.

According to police scanner traffic, police set up a perimeter in the neighborhood, then detained more than 10 teenage boys and one adult during the operation. Some of the youth reportedly took off running as police moved in at about 5:40 p.m., but officers were able to detain them quickly in two locations, near Allston Way and near what was described as “a pond” in the middle of the park.

Officers brought the victim to the park to identify the person he believed was responsible for the robbery, according to scanner traffic. The others who had been detained were reportedly released by 6:20 p.m.

Police arrested a 15-year-old Berkeley boy in connection with the robbery, said Coats, via email.

During the follow-up investigation, police recovered the victim’s cellphone, she said.

Berkeleyside provides exclusive coverage of many Berkeley crimes. Read more here.

South Berkeley robberies on the rise near Ashby BART (01.17.14)
Teen arrested after robbery tied to medical cannabis buy (12.12.13)
Police join forces on Berkeley-Oakland robbery series (12.11.13)
Shots fired early Saturday near West Berkeley park (11.02.13)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and Facebook. Email us at Get the latest Berkeley news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

Print Friendly
Tagged , , , , , ,
Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comments policy »
  • supersickandtired

    the kid will get a slap on the back of the hand and will be doing the same thing tomorrow!

  • djoelt1

    My spouse accidently left her phone on a plane at SFO when disembarking and didn’t find this out until she got home. She used an app to locate the phone and it was now located in an apartment building in San Mateo. After sending some friendly text messages, I reported the missing phone to the police. Afterwards, I started doing my own investigation but was stymied by the invocation of privacy by various agencies who could not tell me whether anyone who worked at the airport or who had access to the plane lived at that location. I then went in person to the apartment building and started knocking on doors. One resident worked for the TSA and had been at the airport at the time of the landing. I guessed another passenger had handed him the phone and that he had taken it home for some reason. He invited me in to look around. I declined, but went to the SM police and told them the story. They went back and questioned the man. Meanwhile the SF police, with whom I filed the original report, informed the SM police that a person living in another apartment in the building noted by the app cleaned her plane after her flight. They knocked on his door and asked for the phone. He said he didn’t have it. They leaned on other relatives at the apartment to get him to return it. He declined. Might not have been there anymore.

    Anyway, good going on recovery and I’m sure the juvenile will be back in business soon!

  • guest

    I doubt it. More likely he’ll be given special attention and opportunities in BUSD.

  • Craig

    I walk through Ohlone Park all the time and have probably become to complacent with respect to my possessions and surroundings. I’ll start keeping more of an eye out.

  • bingo

    well, that’s one down and (checks police report from past month) another 30 or so to go!

  • tito

    it was there cause at 1250 addison the cops way over reacted the sent over 9 units and they were pointing their guns at teenagers and making people stay in doors all over a stupid cell phone ridiculous..

  • Parent of Berkeley Teenage Boy

    What about the 10 or more teenage boys who were stopped at gunpoint and subjected to a line up? Should there be an expectation of all teenagers at the nearby rec center or Realm High School that they be subjected to this police behavior? Did the victim identify the right kid? We read that the phone was recovered but, not necessarily in possession of the arrestee. By the way, in a recent Berkeley attempted robbery of a cell phone, a 13 year old kid spent 5+ weeks in custody before being released on home detention with a GPS ankle monitor…not a slap on the wrist.

  • guest

    I would love to have an app to track the GPS ankle monitor so I can be aware of potential robbers in my vicinity.

  • bgal4

    Hope that kid learns his lesson. 13 year old and robbing people, for shame.

  • Janet Byron

    Near “a pond” in the middle of the park? That’s Strawberry Creek, isn’t it???

  • emraguso

    I’m actually not familiar with the park — are there any other water features besides the creek?

  • suckatash

    There is no pond. Only the creek.

  • suckatash

    If you’re a teenage boy and you decide to run from the cops in Berkeley I would say you’re making bad decisions.

  • emraguso

    Good to know! Perhaps I heard it wrong.

  • guest

    Right on! The kid hasn’t shot anyone yet.

  • waterside

    That’s right it’s always those ahistorical “bad decisions”.
    And couldn’t they could just as easily be bootstrapping it and be the next wunderbrat like Zuckerberg? Oh wait he went to Harvard.

  • boom

    I’m going to make my million inventing an exploding iphone case .. log in to “find my iphone”, post the secret code using the lost phone feature, and boom! the perp loses a hand.

  • Guest

    YET being the operative word.

  • Just Sayin’

    I doubt Zuckerberg ran from the cops when he was 13.

  • guest

    I was on Shattuck for another one of these cell phone things: there were like 20 cops running into businesses with their guns drawn: pointing them at customers and employees who happened to come around the corner.
    I mean, yay, they got the guy (and the cell phone), but there actually is such a thing as overreacting.

  • Guest

    Check with the Israelis: they’ve used that trick, although not for quite the same purpose.