Police action in Berkeley: Purse snatch, disturbance

Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso

A disturbance that led to an arrest and a purse snatch on Allston Way had police officers out and about in downtown Berkeley on Friday afternoon, authorities report.

Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver, watch commander, provided updates at about 2:10 p.m. about both incidents.

Around 1 p.m., dispatchers got a call about a man standing by a car yelling at a woman near University and Shattuck avenues.

When police arrived, the man suddenly drove off, Rateaver said.


Officers tracked the car to a nearby parking lot at Walnut Street and Berkeley Way, but it was empty.

Witnesses said the vehicle suddenly pulled in and an occupant jumped out and ran,” Rateaver said. 

Police were able to find the man and arrested him in connection with court charges and a hit-and-run investigation. The man’s name was not immediately available because the investigation is ongoing.

Also around 1 p.m., police responded to the 2000 block of Allston Way, near Milvia Street, for a report of a purse snatch that had just taken place.

Officers were able to follow the purse using the signal of an iPhone inside. They found the purse in a trash can nearby.


“Passers-by may have seen uniformed officers combing the street, searching in the median strips, checking stores and so on along the Shattuck corridor. All of this was an effort to locate the purse,” Rateaver said. 

No suspect description was provided to police and the incident is under investigation. 

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