This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer anonymity. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — you may be the only one to get in touch. We want to know about issues of concern and rely on readers to help us stay informed.
From Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, there were reports of nine robberies, 26 burglaries, 15 assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 17 stolen vehicles, 19 disturbances and 27 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A robbery and a vehicle theft were reported by the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period.
Thursday, Oct. 29
There were two commercial burglaries, at 3:30 a.m. in the 2400 block of Durant Avenue, and at 7:03 p.m. in the 1600 block of San Pablo Avenue.
A traffic accident on Interstate 80 west of University Avenue in Berkeley at 6:20 a.m. sent a motorcycle rider to the hospital with major injuries, according to authorities. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There were five home burglaries: at 7 a.m. in the 1100 block of Francisco Street; at 9:45 a.m. in the 900 block of Bancroft Way; at 2:46 p.m. in the 1800 block of Allston Way; at 10 p.m. in the 2600 block of Etna Street; and at 10:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Blake Street.
Police arrested Markeus Durant, 37, at about 7 a.m. on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, vehicle theft and other alleged violations. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $95,000. He is scheduled for further pretrial Dec. 17.
There was a disturbance call at 11:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Hearst Avenue.
Police arrested Levell Simmons, 27, in Richmond on a warrant related to a Berkeley vehicle theft case and other violations. He remains in custody without bail and is scheduled for a sentencing hearing Dec. 7. He is also being held in connection with an Oakland robbery, according to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s department.
Police arrested Raymond Hernandez, 38, in the 1600 block of Hearst Avenue at about 4:45 p.m. on suspicion of vehicle theft and several other violations. He remains in custody with a bail of $70,000, and is scheduled for a preliminary examination Nov. 17.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 9 p.m. in the 1500 block of Ashby Avenue; at 9 p.m. in the 1500 block of 63rd Street; and at 11 p.m. in the 400 block of Grizzly Peak Boulevard.
There was a felony assault or battery at 10:40 p.m. in the 2800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Friday, Oct. 30
There was a robbery at 12:30 a.m. at Delaware and Chestnut streets.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 3 a.m. at Blake and Acton streets, and a call involving the brandishing of a weapon at 8:30 a.m. in the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue.
There were four home burglaries: at 3 a.m. in the 2500 block of Dwight Way; at 5:18 p.m. in the 2000 block of Durant Avenue; at 10:12 p.m. in the 2500 block of Milvia Street; and at 10:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Warring Street.
There was a disturbance call at 9:43 a.m. in the 200 block of Marina Boulevard.
As per the Daily Cal, UCPD arrested a 36-year-old man after he is reported to have groped three students and spat on another on Sproul Plaza. Read more.
Three vehicles were stolen: at noon in the 1800 block of Berryman Street; at 7 p.m. in the 1400 block of Grant Street; and at 8 p.m. at an unlisted location.
Via the BART Police: A BART patron reported that a green Mongoose 9-speed mountain bike had been stolen from the racks at the North Berkeley station between 7:10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The bike had been secured with a U-lock. Another person reported the theft of a Trek 21-speed bike from the racks at the Ashby station between 5 a.m. Oct. 29 and 6 p.m. Oct. 30. The bike had been secured with a U-lock.
There was a commercial burglary at 6 p.m. in the 2900 block of Telegraph Avenue.
UCPD arrested Melanie Foutz, 37, and Jeffery Williams, 18, on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and probation violation at Signpost 22 during the recovery of a stolen vehicle at 7:55 p.m. They were taken to Berkeley Jail.
At 8:30 p.m., three men, ages 18 to 20, punched a 17-year-old and threatened him with a gun at People’s Park, robbing him of his wallet, iPhone, keys and cash. They left eastbound on Dwight Way in a dark blue BMW without plates. Two of the men were wearing beanies. The case is under investigation by UCPD. (This incident appeared first on an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
There were two second-response calls, at 11:02 p.m. in the 2400 block of Blake, and at 11:55 p.m. in the 2400 block of Piedmont Avenue.
Saturday, Oct. 31
There were three second-response calls: at 12:55 a.m. in the 2500 block of Warring Street; at 1:07 a.m. in the 500 block of Canyon Road; and at 1:24 a.m. in the 1800 block of Berkeley Way.
There were two robberies, at 1:03 a.m. at Piedmont and Bancroft, and at 4:29 p.m. in the 1600 block of Fifth Street. A man was shot in the second incident, at E.C. Hydro, a hydroponic and garden supply shop. Read more on Berkeleyside.
The other incident took place in front of International House at 2299 Piedmont Ave. A female was robbed of her purse by two male suspects last seen driving south on Piedmont in a small champagne-colored four-door vehicle. The robbers were described as black, in their 20s, and were both wearing black-hooded sweatshirts, with black bandanas covering their faces. One was 5 feet 7 inches tall with a medium build, and the other was 6 feet tall with a thin build. Police searched the area but were not able to find them. (This incident originally appeared on an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
A vehicle was stolen at 10:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of Capistrano Avenue.
There were three home burglaries: at noon in the 1600 block of Cornell Avenue; at 7 p.m. in the 1400 block of Walnut Street; and at 11:45 p.m. in the 2400 block of Warring.
The Berkeley Fire Department responded to a report of a vehicle fire on campus near Mulford Hall at about 4:30 p.m. Said Avery Webb, interim fire chief, “The first arriving engine company discovered the fire to involve a golf-cart style utility vehicle, next to the building. A truck company checked the building for fire extension. No fire extension was noted, however, smoke was found inside the ground floor level.” The engine company extinguished the fire, and the truck company removed smoke from the building. No injuries were reported. The university’s fire marshal was notified, and is responsible for the investigation. (This incident originally appeared on an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
Sunday, Nov. 1
Thousands of revelers took to the streets around Channing Way and Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood in what many called “a riot” that ultimately resulted in property damage and at least three assaults, one of which sent a victim to the hospital. Read more on Berkeleyside.
The men arrested in connection with the assaults were identified as Carlos Chavez, 20, Jonathan Cortez, 22, and Adrian Hernandez, 22. According to Alameda County sheriff’s department records online, they were arrested on suspicion of two felonies: battery with serious bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. They are no longer in custody but are scheduled for a pretrial hearing Monday, Nov. 16.
There were three disturbance calls: at midnight in the 2600 block of Sacramento Street; at 7 a.m. in the 2900 block of Bolivar Drive; and at 11 p.m. in the 1500 block of McGee Avenue.
There were four felony assaults or batteries: at 12:01 a.m. in the 2100 block of Piedmont; at 1:30 a.m. at Adeline Street and Ashby Avenue; at 2 a.m. at Channing Way and College Avenue; and at 2:58 a.m. at Piedmont and Channing.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 1:45 a.m. in the 2700 block of College, and at 2:14 a.m. in the 1200 block of San Pablo Avenue.
There were two robberies, at 2:30 a.m. at Ellis Street and Alcatraz Avenue, and at 2:35 a.m. at Dwight Way and College Avenue.
There was a felony sexual assault at 4 a.m. in the 1800 block of Allston Way.
Four vehicles were stolen: at 9 a.m. in the 2100 block of Parker Street; at 6 p.m. in the 1000 block of Merced Street; at 6 p.m. in the 1800 block of Berkeley Way; and at 9 p.m. in the 2500 block of Hilgard Avenue.
There were two home burglaries, at 2 p.m. in the 2600 block of Benvenue Avenue, and at 3 p.m. in the 1700 block of Sixth Street.
Monday, Nov. 2
Three vehicles were stolen: at 12:01 a.m. in the 1400 block of Bancroft Way; at 10:30 a.m. in the 1500 block of Derby Street; and at 5 p.m. in the 1800 block of San Antonio Avenue.
There was a commercial burglary at 4:10 a.m. in the 1500 block of Shattuck Avenue. A local resident reported on Twitter that it was jewelry shop M. Lowe & Company, at 1519 Shattuck, that was hit.
There were six disturbance calls: at 7:45 a.m. at Sacramento Street and University Avenue; at 8:45 a.m. in the 1800 block of Harmon Street; at 9:59 a.m. in the 2100 block of Bancroft Way; at 10 a.m. in the 1200 block of Glen Avenue; at 10:32 a.m. in the 1800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way; and at 5:40 p.m. at Webster Street and Benvenue.
There were two home burglaries, at noon in the 1400 block of Josephine Street, and at 1:15 p.m. in the 1500 block of San Lorenzo Avenue.
BART Police officers responded to the downtown Berkeley station at 5:30 p.m. for an alleged battery involving a stick. The incident had begun outside, but moved into the station when a male threw a ceramic flower pot at another male who had tried to strike him with a stick. The flower pot hit its target in the hand and caused “a severe laceration,” according to the BART Police. The man with the hand injury was taken to the hospital for treatment. The man who threw the flower pot fled the scene before officers arrived.
Tuesday, Nov. 3
There were three commercial burglaries: at 1:31 a.m. in the 1300 block of San Pablo Avenue; at 3 p.m. in the 2900 block of Adeline Street; and at 5:20 p.m. in the 2000 block of Shattuck Avenue.
There was a home burglary at 5 a.m. in the 2600 block of Regent Street.
There were two disturbance calls, at 9:10 a.m. at Allston Way and Roosevelt Avenue, and at 8:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Shattuck.
There were two robberies, at 2:45 p.m. at Ashby Avenue and Otis Street, and at 6 p.m. in the 2800 block of Park Street. In response to a query from Berkeleyside, a police spokesman said officers also responded to the Apple store, at 1823 Fourth St., after suspects stole multiple laptops shortly after 2 p.m., then drove off in a minivan.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 6 p.m. in the 2200 block of McGee Avenue, and at 9 p.m. in the 2800 block of Ellsworth Street.
Police responded to North Berkeley after a paranoid, suicidal subject called police for help, then took off on foot, from the 1800 block of Solano Avenue, when officers arrived. The detention took place around 7:25 p.m. at Marin and Fresno avenues. The man was taken for a psychiatric evaluation.
Wednesday, Nov. 4
There was a disturbance at 6:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Center Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 9:30 a.m. in the 2700 block of Hillegass Avenue.
There were two robberies, at 10:45 a.m. in the 100 block of Seawall Drive, and at 1:35 p.m. in the 3000 block of Telegraph Avenue.
In the Seawall Drive incident, two men robbed a film crew at gunpoint near University Avenue, said BPD. The men ordered the crew to get on the ground, then took their camera and tripod and left in a gold-colored station wagon without plates that was driven by a third man. The robbers were described as black. One was 6 feet tall, between 18 and 25 years old, and was wearing a blue sweatshirt and jeans. The other was 5 foot 8, between 20 and 25 years old, and also wore jeans. The victims were from Hoff Productions, a local company, and were interviewing a retired Alcatraz prison guard, according to the Contra Costa Times.
At about 12:30 p.m., according to Berkeley Unified school officials, “a hateful and racist message was discovered on one of the [BHS] library computers, containing threatening language toward African Americans.” The next day, students walked out of class en masse, and marched to UC Berkeley, to protest what had taken place. School Principal Sam Pasarow said a student was responsible for the message. School officials later shared additional detail about the discovery of the message. Last week, Friday, many students wore black to school to show their solidarity in the face of the racist threats.
A local resident reported, in a neighborhood Yahoo group, that “close to 10 Oakland and Berkeley police officers” raided a home in the 900 block of 53rd Street near Adeline at about 2:15 p.m. Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said that incident was related to a “narcotics investigation, which is still on-going.” No further information was provided.
There was a felony assault or battery at 6:20 p.m. in the 2200 block of Eighth Street.
Other notable items
A woman told Berkeleyside a thief broke into her vehicle at 8:15 a.m. Oct. 29 when she stopped for less than five minutes to drop off her son at Jefferson Elementary. She said she parked in the 1400 block of Ada Street and returned to discover the auto burglary: “My front passenger window was smashed and my work bag (including my wallet, iPhone, and other items) was taken.” The culprit took her “wallet to one or more convenience stores in Oakland and wired $250-300 from each credit card before fraud prevention automatically froze the cards.” She said an officer told her that “thieves have been regularly targeting Berkeley schools at drop-off and pick-up times. They apparently are making a habit of watching parents run into schools to drop off/pick up their children and break into cars in which parents have left anything that might be valuable.” Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said this type of crime is all too common: “As you might imagine, this tactic is not a new one. It is a crime of opportunity we have seen played out in varying forms — going inside the grocery store, out of for jog in the marina, dropping off kids at school, etc. Currently, the highest concentration of auto burglaries continues to be in West Berkeley — along the freeway entrance/exit points.”
This report came in to Berkeleyside from a local email list: “I was riding my bike home from UC Berkeley and was going past the 1800 block of Tunnel Road at 6:45pm on Sunday Nov. 1st.* A car (early 2000s model compact sedan, maybe a Honda Civic, light colored, maybe white) pulled along next to me with two black males in their 20s. The passenger rolled down his window and asked me for directions to Skyline Blvd. I stopped and was giving them directions. They acted as though they were lost and late for something. They ask me for the time and when I looked down at my watch the passenger open (sic) the door and pointed a gun at me and yelled at me to give them my backpack. He pulled the backpack off me and then wanted my phone which was in my bike jersey pocket. He patted me down as I tried to indicate where the phone was. After getting my phone he took my bike and threw it over the guard rail where it skidded about 100 feet down the hillside. Before getting back into the car he gave me a hard shove and flipped me over the guard rail. I received some minor scrapes on my elbow and legs. They then drove away quickly continuing up Tunnel Rd. I lost my wallet, keys, phone, checkbook, laptop, and some clothes.” According to a listserve member, this followed a report the prior week when “another bicyclist was robbed by Grizzly and Skyline…by people asking for directions.” (Officer White said there did not appear to be a report in the BPD system for these incidents.)
See the Berkeley Police Department’s crime reports on CrimeMapping.com. See the list of calls to UC Police at Berkeley, which are also posted in brief on CrimeMapping, and UCPD crime alerts. See also Local Crime News’ regularly published list of arrests of Berkeley residents. Other sources of information on crime in Berkeley include the Police Department’s CrimeView Community and CrimeMapping.com. The Berkeley Police Department also posts “calls for service” spreadsheets — containing more data — online for those who would like to see more. New reports may be added to CrimeMapping in an unpredictable manner, so numbers may increase in the days after this report. This post does not reflect every call. See recent Berkeley crime blotters here.
Male sustains serious head injury after fight; 6 arrested (11.15.15)
Police arrest 2 after Bonar music video shoot (11.12.15)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Oct. 22-28 (11.10.15)
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