Berkeley man arrested after dog theft, carjacking

The animal shelter's grand opening celebration takes place at 1 Bolivar Drive on Saturday. Scroll to the bottom of the story for details. Photo: Emilie Raguso
A man broke into the animal shelter and stole a dog, then carjacked a driver last week. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Police have arrested a man they say carjacked a driver in West Berkeley after breaking into the municipal animal shelter last week to steal a dog he’d been turned down from adopting.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said 36-year-old Joseph Kristian Black broke into the Dona Spring Animal Shelter last Tuesday, Oct. 21, and stole a dog he had unsuccessfully tried to adopt.

Coats said Black, a Berkeley resident, smashed a window at the shelter at 6:25 p.m. and was able to get into the building, at 1 Bolivar Dr. north of Addison Street.

“He then pried open a kennel and stole a dog that was under the care of the shelter,” she said.


The next day, at 5:30 a.m., Black approached a driver who had stopped at a red light at Seventh Street and Heinz Avenue in West Berkeley.

He “demanded the victim get out of his vehicle, while trying to open the driver’s door,” said Coats, but the motorist was able to drive away.

Coats said Black’s next stop was the gas station at Seventh and Ashby Avenue, where a man was about to gas up.

Black “demanded the victim’s keys. He told the victim not to look at him and made threats towards him,” said Coats.

Black took off in the vehicle but was stopped at 9:30 a.m. by the South San Francisco Police Department and arrested on suspicion of carjacking and burglary.


Black remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $170,000. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Monday at 9:05 a.m. at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

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