Update: Woman arrested in UC Berkeley ‘hot prowl’ burglaries

Update, Sept. 6: UCPD confirmed that Vasquez is a UC Berkeley student. Sgt. Sabrina Reich, UCPD spokeswoman, said Vasquez “was taken into custody by Emeryville PD on unrelated charges when it was discovered she was in position of stolen property” from two Clark Kerr burglaries. According to online court records, Vasquez is no longer in custody, though she has been charged, as noted below. Her next court appearance was not listed.

Update, Sept. 1: UCPD has announced an arrest in the case, and shared a booking photograph, but no name or additional information was provided in a prepared statement Thursday. UCPD has not responded to requests for further detail. Online records identify the arrested woman as Karla Vasquez, 18. She has been charged, according to online court records, with two counts of first-degree residential burglary, each with a special allegation because someone was home at the time; vehicle theft; and receiving stolen property. “Hot prowl” burglaries, where the victim is home, are much less frequent and can lead to stiffer penalties. Vasquez is a UC Berkeley student from Los Angeles, according to her Facebook page, and a student by that name is listed in the online campus directory. Vasquez remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail on Friday, according to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office.

Original story, Aug. 30: Sleeping UC Berkeley students in two dorm rooms were visited by a female burglar in “short shorts” earlier this week, authorities reported Wednesday.

In one case, the young woman took a laptop while a male student slept. In the other, several female students woke up as the woman was ransacking their room, police said.


The University of California Police Department said both incidents took place at the Clark Kerr Campus, at 2601 Warring St., on Tuesday. Police responded to the campus at 6:15 a.m. for a report of an in-progress burglary. Three students told police they had been woken up at 5:50 a.m. by a female stranger who was rummaging through their room. The students confronted her, and she left. According to the UCPD police log, $3,400 worth of property was taken but it was recovered.

Police described the burglar as a “Latina or Middle Eastern female,” 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8 inches tall, 130-140 pounds, with short curly dark hair and a medium build. She was “wearing a dark blue ‘polyester type’ jacket, dark colored ‘short shorts’ and possibly flip flops.” According to the UCPD log, the woman looked to be 18-22 years old.

Clark Kerr Campus. Photo: UC Berkeley

A couple hours later, UCPD got a report from a male student who said he’d woken up at 9:45 a.m. to find his laptop gone from his room. He had put the MacBook Pro on his desk when he went to sleep just after midnight, he said. It wasn’t there when he awoke.

Police said the young man’s roommate saw a “suspicious female” loitering in the hallway near their room around 2:40 a.m. The woman matched the description provided earlier by the female students, according to authorities.

Police ask anyone with information about the burglaries to call UCPD at 510- 642-6760.


Police shared several safety tips for those who suspect a burglary attempt:

  • If using a landline phone call 911 immediately. If you can’t speak to the dispatcher, leave the phone off the hook – don’t hang up. The dispatcher will send officers to your location.
  • If using a cellphone, call UCPD’s emergency cell phone number 510-642-3333.
  • Politely offer assistance to persons in your building or residence you do not recognize. If they have legitimate business, they will appreciate your help. If they do not, ask them to leave.
  • Do not prop any exterior doors open to allow unescorted visitors into the residence hall.
  • If you are leaving your room, lock your door.