This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
SNAPSHOT From May 26 to June 1, there were reports of three robberies, 21 burglaries, 23 assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and two sexual assaults to BPD, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also six stolen vehicles, 10 disturbances and 27 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Two sex crimes, an assault and a burglary, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the May 26 to June 1 round-up below several more recent items.
Recent public safety news
STOLEN GOLF CARTS Three golf carts at Civic Center Park, rented for the Bay Area Book Festival, were stolen June 3, the night before the popular festival began. Four of them had been rented to help distribute items to 40 different venues. Said Lisa Bullwinkel, who helped organize the event, “What a surprise on Saturday morning when they were gone. Apparently, my hired security guard was overwhelmed by a band of kids from Berkeley High who came off the campus around 9PM Friday and took off with two of the carts. One kid drove one into a concrete bollard, knocking off the front fender, before taking off.”
Bullwinkel said police found one of the carts nearby and returned it. But two more were stolen later that night. “Over the course of the week,” she told Berkeleyside, “they were reported in several different places, although by the time anyone showed up, they’d been moved. It was whack-a-mole with golf carts! Two were finally tracked down. The BPD confiscated one and put it into their corporate yard. The other had a flat tire and was recovered the next day. The third is still missing, so if anyone sees a green Cresco golf cart around, please contact Lisa@BayBookFest.org.”
PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE HOSTS FREE COMMUNITY FESTIVAL This Saturday, June 18, the Alameda County public defender’s office is holding its first community festival “to highlight holistic criminal defense,” according to a statement released this week. “Co-sponsored with Supervisor Nate Miley, the festival will offer a variety of family-friendly activities, as well as advice about cleaning up criminal records to help make it easier for people to find jobs.” Pony rides, carnival games, a bouncy house and a basketball tournament all are planned. There will also be clothing give-aways and a raffle for a new bike. Public Defender Brendon Woods — the agency’s first African American chief public defender appointed by the county Board of Supervisors — said the event is designed to help people get to know local public defenders and help community members connect with services the office offers. The office has several social workers, a team of immigration attorneys, a “Clean Slate Clinic” to help with “mitigating past convictions,” and a unit focused on Proposition 47 efforts such as reducing certain felonies to misdemeanors. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Verdese Carter Park, 9600 Sunnyside St., in Oakland. For more information, call 510-421-6464.
TAGGING CULPRIT? Lisa Bullwinkel is also asking for assistance to help authorities identify a tagger who jumped her 10-foot fence, got into her garage, found spraypaint and put graffiti on the garage Monday between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (See photographs above.) She asks anyone with information to contact BPD (Case #16-34995). “They also got under the house and were probably about to steal something when I pulled into the driveway and scared them off,” she writes.
BANK ROBBER SENTENCED FOR OAKLAND MURDER A Berkeley man who had previously pleaded guilty in federal court to armed bank robbery was sentenced this week in connection with a 2013 murder in Oakland. Calvin Odom Jr. was convicted in February, according to the Mercury News, of the killing of Vittorio Jackson in a laundromat parking lot. Odom’s attorney said his client was present during the shooting but was not the killer. On Tuesday, June 14, he was sentenced to 40 years to life, according to the Merc. He is set for a hearing Aug. 23 to determine restitution, according to the sheriff’s office.
The week in review: May 26 to June 1
Thursday, May 26
There were two disturbance calls, at 5:30 a.m. at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street, and at 9:55 p.m. at Hearst and McGee avenues. Police arrested a 29-year-old man in connection with the second case but the incident was not listed in online sheriff’s office records so the status was unknown.
There were two calls involving a gun or other weapon, at 6:50 a.m. in the 900 block of Carleton Street, and at 10:46 p.m. in the 1600 block of Julia Street. On Carleton: Three men were arrested during a narcotics operation at Juan’s Place. Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said the department’s Special Investigations Bureau “recovered several handguns, ammunition, drug paraphernalia, as well as a quantity of methamphetamine.” (Read more on Berkeleyside.) Only one of the men, Jorge Mejia, appears to have been charged in connection with the search, according to sheriff’s office records. Mejia, 27, was charged with firearms and ammunition possession and is scheduled for a preliminary examination, where a judge determines if the case will go to trial based on a limited presentation of evidence, on Aug. 25. He is no longer in custody.
Police arrested Armando Martinez, 33, in connection with a theft case from May 19 in the 1900 block of Center Street at 2 p.m. Martinez was arrested shortly before 9 a.m. on suspicion of identity theft. He remains in custody without bail at Santa Rita Jail and is scheduled to be sentenced July 11 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse, according to Alameda County sheriff’s office records.
There were two commercial burglaries, at noon in the 2500 block of Ninth Street, and at 6:20 p.m. in the 2500 block of Shattuck.
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A 42-year-old UC Berkeley employee reported being informed, at about 3:20 p.m., about a “possible sexual relationship” between an underage undergraduate student and a visiting professor in 2015. No further information was immediately available.
Police arrested Anthony Maxwell, 25, in connection with causing harm to an elder or dependent adult at 3:30 p.m. in the 2700 block of Dohr Street. Maxwell is no longer in custody, according to the sheriff’s office, but had been scheduled for a pretrial hearing Thursday at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. His bail was set at $15,000.
There were two home burglaries, at 5:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Hawthorne Terrace, and at 5:50 p.m. in the 1700 block of California Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 6 p.m. in the 2700 block of Stuart Street.
A man who was married to a UC Berkeley student, who was living in campus housing at the time of the crime, has been sentenced to nine years in prison in connection with a federal child pornography case, authorities report. Konrad Wolff, 28, was sentenced to 108 months in prison. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Friday, May 27
There were four home burglaries: at 9:30 a.m. in the 2300 block of Fulton Street; at noon in the 2000 block of Channing Way; at 4 p.m. in the 1800 block of Curtis Street; and at 6:10 p.m. in the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue. Police arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with the incident on Benvenue but the incident was not listed in online records so the status was unknown.
At about 10:20 a.m., a 35-year-old woman told UCPD she had been raped at People’s Park while intoxicated sometime between Dec. 25, 2015, and April 26. She described the assailant as a 6-foot-tall black man with glasses who had his hair “wrapped in a cloth.” No further information was immediately available.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 11 a.m. in the 2100 block of Fourth Street, and at 9 p.m. at Virginia and Arch streets.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 4 p.m. in the 2700 block of Seventh Street, and at 6 p.m. in the 1800 block of Fourth.
There was a disturbance at 5 p.m. in the 1500 block of Derby Street.
Saturday, May 28
There was a commercial burglary at 4:22 a.m. in the 2900 block of Sacramento Street.
There were two home burglaries, at 5:25 a.m. in the 2400 block of Hilgard Avenue, and at 11:57 p.m. in the 900 block of Hearst Avenue. Police arrested Andrew Alcala, 27, in connection with the second case. He remains in custody with a bail of $265,000, according to sheriff’s office records, and is scheduled for further pretrial July 19.
There was a felony sexual assault at 7:30 a.m. in the 3100 block of College Avenue.
BART officers responded to the downtown Berkeley station at 10:45 a.m. for a report that the station agent had been “pushed over a fare dispute by a male who is a regular at the station.” The man left the area before officers arrived. The agent was not injured, but planned to notify the police “to do a citizen’s arrest when the subject returns to the station,” the BART PD reported.
There was a felony assault or battery at 11:15 a.m. in the 3100 block of College.
There was a disturbance at noon in the 1900 block of Seventh Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 5:38 p.m. at Bancroft Way and Spaulding Avenue.
Sunday, May 29
There were five home burglaries: at 2 a.m. in the 1800 block of Delaware Street; at 4 a.m. in the 1500 block of Virginia Street; at 4 p.m. in the 2000 block of Carleton Street; at 5:50 p.m. in the 1800 block of Virginia; and at 11 p.m. in the 2400 block of Atherton Street.
Firefighters and police responded to Grant and Francisco streets shortly before 4 p.m. to handle a dryer fire, according to BPD watch commander Lt. Alyson Hart. Said Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken, “It put quite a bit of smoke in the building, but there was no fire extension to the structure.” (Berkeleyside first reported this incident on Facebook.)
A vehicle was stolen at 8 p.m. in the 2200 block of Ward Street.
There was a robbery at 10:43 p.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck.
Monday, May 30
Police arrested 18-year-old Joseph Cardenas in Richmond in connection with a $100,000 district attorney’s office warrant for a burglary and grand theft from Berkeley. Cardenas remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail and is scheduled to be sentenced July 8, according to sheriff’s office records. He is being held without bail. No information was available online about where or when the initial incident took place.
There was a robbery at 10:45 a.m. in the 2800 block of Adeline Street.
There was a disturbance at noon in the 100 block of Bret Harte Road.
There was a felony sexual assault at 6:59 p.m. in the 1400 block of California Street.
Tuesday, May 31
There was a home burglary at midnight in the 1900 block of Grant Street.
There were four disturbance calls: at 9:40 a.m. in the 1800 block of Sacramento Street; at 3:21 a.m. in the 1900 block of McGee Avenue; at 1:50 a.m. in the 2600 block of San Pablo Avenue; and at 1:14 a.m. at Allston Way and Milvia Street. Police arrested Jatinder Singh, 30, in connection with the incident on McGee; he remains in custody without bail at Santa Rita on suspicion of burglary and other charges, according to sheriff’s office records. He is scheduled for a hearing to be appointed an attorney July 14.
There was a robbery at 9:29 a.m. in the 2800 block of Adeline. (A robbery also happened at the same location Monday morning.)
A World War II-era hand grenade was unearthed in the planter box of a home in the 1200 block of Spruce Street at around 4 p.m. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Wednesday, June 1
There was a home burglary at 11:01 a.m. in the 1200 block of Bancroft Way.
A vehicle was stolen at 6 p.m. in the 1900 block of San Pablo Avenue.
Via the BART Police: A thief stole a Surley Cross-Check 9-speed road bike from the North Berkeley station between 8:30 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. The bike had been secured to the bike rack with two U-Locks. The loss was estimated at $1,500. Learn about bike security tips online.
There was a felony assault or battery at 10:40 p.m. in the 2000 block of Ashby Avenue. BPD responded to a fight between two people at Ashby and Adeline Street. Said Berkeley Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel, “During the course of the fight one used a can of pepper spray on the other.” One person received a ticket and the other person, a 54-year-old man, “became physically combative” with officers. He was subdued and placed under arrest. Charges do not appear to have been filed, according to available records online from the sheriff’s office. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
There were two arson calls, at 11:11 p.m. in the 2400 block of Haste Street, and at 11:31 p.m. in the 2000 block of Kittredge Street. A transient Berkeley woman was arrested after authorities said she set at least one dumpster on fire by the library. Dawn Carraway, 26, was arrested just before midnight on suspicion of arson. (Read more on Berkeleyside.) Carraway remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail, according to sheriff’s office records. Her next court hearing is scheduled for June 24, next Friday.
There was a commercial burglary at 11:34 p.m. in the 2600 block of Shattuck Avenue.
There was a disturbance at 11:50 p.m. in the 200 block of University Avenue.
Berkeley public safety data resources
- The Berkeley Police Department incident log on CrimeMapping and CrimeView Community
- The UCPD crime log, also posted in brief on CrimeMapping, and UCPD crime alerts
- Listen to the police scanner online
- Local Crime News lists arrests of Berkeley residents (not by agency); BPD’s arrest log and booking log (new as of April 2016)
- Nixle public safety alerts, by email and text, from BPD and UCPD
- The Berkeley Police Department’s “calls for service” heat map
- BPD on Twitter: Chief Meehan, spokesman Sgt. Frankel, Officer Byron White
- See what the Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee (BSNC) is up to
- Learn about what info BPD can release to the public
- Find your area coordinator to ask about neighborhood safety issues (but don’t forget to tip Berkeleyside, too!)
Please note: These items represent a sampling of calls; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period. 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.
$50,000 reward offered by FBI to find ‘prolific’ rapist, killer (06.16.16)
Large truck overturns in Berkeley Hills; driver extricated (06.16.16)
Rape at dorm, actor surrenders after near-fatal crash, more (06.15.16)
Man arrested in Berkeley tied to Oakland killing, found with alleged murder weapon (06.14.16)
Missing 84-year-old Dorothy Ewing has been found (06.13.16)
Teen arrested after robbery attempt, assault at BART (06.07.16)
Fight with pepper spray, student fight at Realm, woman arrested with burglary tools, more (06.07.16)
BFD responds to machinery fire in West Berkeley (06.06.16)
Jury recommends death in double murder case (06.02.16)
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