3 teens arrested after Berkeley robbery, assault

Police arrested three teens at the downtown Berkeley BART station after a robbery and assault were reported Tuesday night. Photo: Mona Taleb-Agha

Police arrested three teens at the downtown Berkeley BART station after a robbery and assault Tuesday night. Photo: Mona Taleb-Agha

Three teens with a gun assaulted and robbed a man in his 60s in downtown Berkeley on Tuesday night, but were arrested by police a short time later, authorities said Wednesday.

Tuesday just before 9:20 p.m., the man had been walking from his vehicle in the 1900 block of Addison Street, between Milvia Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, when three males approached him and demanded his wallet, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.

One of the males was holding what appeared to be a gun. Coats said he struck the victim, which knocked the man to the ground. The teens then went through the man’s pockets, stealing cash and his keys.

The suspects fled, but witnesses followed them to the downtown Berkeley BART station several blocks east. The witnesses spoke with a BART employee and asked for police to be called, said Coats.

Officers from Berkeley and BART responded to the scene, where the three males were detained. Coats said a firearm also was recovered.

The teenagers were arrested on suspicion of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, Coats said.

The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and declined to be taken by paramedics to the hospital.

Coats said the males arrested were a 17-year-old from Richmond, as well as a 15- and 17-year-old from San Pablo. Their names were not released because they are minors.

In an unrelated incident Tuesday, police also arrested two teenagers after they reportedly burglarized a North Berkeley home. One resident said alert neighbors helped lead police quickly to the alleged offenders.

Robberies around Berkeley in 2014. (Click the map for a list of incidents.) Image: CrimeMapping.com

Robberies around Berkeley in 2014. (Click the map for a list of incidents.) Image: CrimeMapping.com

So far this year, according to Berkeley Police data, there have been 60 robberies reported in Berkeley, a steep decline compared to a similar period last year. (The University of California Police Department reported four robberies during that time period. Those data are reported and analyzed separately.)

From January through April of 2013, there were 140 robberies listed on CrimeMapping.com, a data source for Berkeley Police statistics. There were 221 robberies reported during the first six months of that year.

Overall in 2013, robberies increased 22.5% from the prior year, though they “trended downward” in the later part of the year, according to data previously released by Berkeley police. Smartphone robberies from pedestrians walking alone at night made up the largest number of Berkeley robberies.

To crack down on robberies, police deployed specialized patrols to high-crime areas, and used data to determine which areas were most likely to be hit, and when. Berkeley officers partnered with police from BART and UCPD to staff those assignments, which authorities said earlier this year had been working to cut down on crime.

In response to questions from council members during a special session in March regarding the 2013 crime report, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan said that, per capita, Berkeley’s robbery rate does tend to be “fairly high.”

But he noted that 2014 robbery reports up to that point in the year had been much lower than in the past, and that enforcement efforts were having a “very positive effect.”

Read more about robberies in Berkeley.

Police use gift cards, surveillance to track robber (04.04.14)
Robberies rise, but serious crime down overall in 2013 (03.14.14)
Alleged Berkeley wedding ring robber arrested, charged (02.05.14)
Teen arrested after cellphone robbery in Berkeley (01.31.14)
Violent threats, man with knife reports scare neighbors (02.28.14)
South Berkeley robberies on the rise near Ashby BART (01.17.14)
Berkeley pedestrian robberies up 35%, burglaries up too (09.17.13)
Berkeley crime analysis: Robberies up 25% in 2013 (05.16.13)

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  • bingo

    right near the police station and BART! how brazen!

  • Woolsey

    Take BART to Berkeley, rob an elderly or handicapped person, get back on BART and go home. These kids doing career training.

  • guest

    “teens” “males” — we all know what that means.

  • Alexander Sinclair Merenkov

    Thats insane. I could hear police sirens last night and wondered what was going on. Amazing that they would come to downtown Berkeley to cause trouble. Glad they were caught hope the older gentleman is ok.

  • guest

    …that’s when they’re not taking BART to Berkeley to illegally attend our schools.

  • Truth Sayer

    Yep, thugs.

  • Truth Sayer

    The use of the title “kids” denotes children, These were young thugs/muggers.

  • Completely_Serious

    Gee, when I was a teen and finished my homework early, I got to watch TV.

    I’m nostalgic for the good old days.

  • bgal4

    how common.

  • Hyper_lexic

    Do you know if an illegal Berkeley High student has EVER been arrested for a violent crime?

  • Tasersaurus

    According to BPD, yes.

  • craig collins

    and don’t forget, ALL of the miscreants noted here, including the burglary suspects, were back on the street the very next day, if not the same night.

  • Adrian Reynolds

    These young men have a bright future and I wish them well.

  • Doug F

    Good work again by the Berkeley PD. Felons are pretty likely to be caught quickly. SF & Oakland please copy…after you learn how.

  • Hyper_lexic

    Care to share the data or link to some proof?

    I’ve never seen any data that says that “illegal” students cause more crime than other BHS students; and unless I missed something there’s nothing in this article that says these 3 were BHS students.

  • Guest

    You keep demanding proof for things nobody ever said. Reading comprehension difficulties, or trying to change the subject?

  • Bryan Garcia

    That block of Addison is pretty empty even during the day, I’m sure it’s really deserted at night. I know there’s plans to building a new apartment building there, so hopefully that contributes to a more vibrant area with more foot traffic and thus decreasing the instances of crimes like this.

  • Chris J

    Oh Krist who cares whether they’re illegally attending BHS or not? A young thug is a thug– idiots all.

  • Chris J

    Maybe if there was better street lighting there might be less strong arm or armed thuggery. Berkeley’s lighting at night is dim and nearly useless. Yes, we are being energy efficient maybe but less lighting can mean more crime.

  • Hyper_lexic

    I agree with that. Not sure why ‘Guest’ saw the need to bring up the schools topic at all.

  • Chris

    There is Berkeley city policy not to spend any money on increasing the # of streetlights, unless it is voted on. Such an asinine thing to tie one’s hands over:


    However, I’m hopeful the new led lights coming soon will help a bit with nighttime visibility…

  • rhuberry

    Much Berkeley crime happens in broad daylight. It is a false sense of safety to think that better lighting will prevent crime. If you look at the crime statistics, people are mugged, robbed, whatever, at all hours of the day. The break-in in North Berkeley earlier that day was in the early afternoon.

  • GeorgeDorn

    I would like to see a visual breakdown of crimes by location and time of day.

  • emraguso

    You can certainly see many crimes on crimemapping.com and CrimeView Community visually by location but there’s no ability to sort by time of day.