Category Archives: Crime

After Berkeley protests: Local merchants react to damage, looting at their businesses

Boarded up McDonald's Kim Aronson
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Berkeley’s major commercial districts are awash with plywood — some of it covers broken glass, some has been erected as a preventive measure to protect vulnerable windows.

Many of the protests that have taken over Berkeley streets this month, in response to police killings of unarmed black men, have remained peaceful. Others have culminated in smashed storefronts and blazing trashcans.

Merchants’ reactions to the destruction run the gamut from patience and praise of the peaceful majority, to criticism of the hands-off approach taken by the Berkeley police on Sunday, Dec. 7, the night local businesses sustained the most significant damage. … Continue reading »

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Crime

3 teens arrested after Grizzly Peak kidnapping

The view from Grizzly Peak Boulevard near Signpost 15. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Police have arrested three Concord teenagers in connection with the Thanksgiving Day kidnapping, carjacking and armed robbery of two people on Grizzly Peak Boulevard, authorities have announced.

Taken into custody Tuesday were 18-year-olds Jose Avila and Brenton Holtzclaw. A 17-year-old male from Concord linked to the case was already in custody for a different matter, and will be prosecuted as an adult, police said. His name was not released, however, because he is a minor.

Said University of California Police Department spokesman Lt. Eric Tejada in a prepared statement: “This investigation was successful thanks to assistance from several law enforcement agencies including the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and police departments of the City of Concord, City of Pleasant Hill and City of Oakland.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, 11/27-12/3

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is an overview of recent crime in Berkeley, exclusively compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, there were reports of 21 burglaries, 19 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles14 stolen vehicles and 11 disturbances, according to CrimeMapping.com. Five robberiessix assaults or batteries, one weapon-related call and two sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included three robberies and four burglaries. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

Please do not hesitate to share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch.

Thursday, Nov. 27

There were five home burglaries: at 12:01 a.m. in the 2000 block of Shattuck Avenue; at 9 a.m. in the 900 block of Virginia Street; at 9:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of Rose Street; at 10:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of Spruce Street; and at 2 p.m. in the 1400 block of Berkeley Way.

There were two robberies, at 1:30 a.m. at Russell Street and San Pablo Avenue, and at 9:48 p.m. at Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way.

According to UCPD: Three men armed with handguns and a baseball bat kidnapped and robbed a man and a woman at a dirt turn-out along Grizzly Peak Boulevard at 2 a.m. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Four vehicles were stolen: at noon in the 800 block of Santa Barbara Road; at 1:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of Garber Street; at 8:45 p.m. in the 2900 block of Garber; and at 11 p.m. in the 2000 block of Ninth Street. … Continue reading »

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Anonymous artist collective claims responsibility for lynching effigies erected at UC Berkeley

Pastor Michael McBride tweeted this photo of a cut out of Laura Nelson out on Twitter.
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An anonymous artists’ collective posted notices at UC Berkeley on Sunday announcing it had placed three effigies in nooses at Cal — and a number of others around Oakland.

The group created the life-size cardboard cutouts of people who had been lynched to draw parallels between the past and modern day society, according to a statement.

See Berkeleyside coverage of the Berkeley protests.

“These images connect past events to present ones – referencing endemic faultlines of hatred and persecution that are and should be deeply unsettling to the American consciousness,” they wrote. “We choose to remain anonymous because this is not about us as artists, but about the growing movement to address these pervasive wrongs.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man cases yoga studio, arrested after assault on officer

Image: Google Maps
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A suspicious man who went into a West Berkeley yoga studio on Sunday morning, asked about classes, then elbowed a police officer in the face who tried to detain him, has been arrested, authorities said Sunday afternoon.

Shortly before noon, the Berkeley Police Department’s Communications Center received a call from a yoga studio in the 800 block of University Avenue, around Sixth Street, said Lt. Dave Frankel, a watch commander for the Berkeley police.

The caller said a suspicious man was inside the business, CorePower Yoga at 811 University Ave. According to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, the man was walking in and out of the studio, asking about classes and about studio operations.

“The employee felt that the person was casing the business to commit a crime,” Frankel said via email.

The first responding officer arrived at the yoga studio within minutes. That officer found the man inside, and tried to detain him. But he “became combative and struck the officer in the face before running from the business.”

The officer told dispatchers over the scanner that the man “had a needle in his pocket and he struck me in the side of the head.” … Continue reading »

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Community responds to noose effigies found at Cal

This effigy was one of three authorities say was hung at the UC Berkeley campus Saturday morning. Photo: Cal Black Student Union
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By Frances Dinkelspiel and Emilie Raguso

Sunday, Dec. 14, 5 p.m. An anonymous artists’ collective has taken responsibility for the effigies strung up in nooses at UC Berkeley on Saturday.

The statement from the collective:

“We are a collective of queer and POC artists responsible for the images of historical lynchings posted to several locations in Berkeley and Oakland,” reads a notice the group distributed. “These images connect past events to present ones – referencing endemic faultlines of hatred and persecution that are and should be deeply unsettling to the American consciousness. We choose to remain anonymous because this is not about us as artists, but about the growing movement to address these pervasive wrongs.”

See past Berkeleyside coverage of the Berkeley protests.

“For those who think these images are no longer relevant to the social framework in which black Americans exist everyday – we respectfully disagree. Garner, Brown, and others are victims of systemic racism. For those who think these images depict crimes and attitudes too distasteful to be seen .. we respectfully disagree. Our society must never forget. For those under the mistaken assumption that the images themselves were intended as an act of racism – we vehemently disagree and intended only the confrontation of historical context.” … Continue reading »

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City of Berkeley told police to use restraint, avoid tear gas, on second night of protests

The doors and windows of Radio Shack on Shattuck were smashed repeatedly this weekend. Photo: Bernt Wahl
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By Frances Dinkelspiel and Tracey Taylor

The Berkeley Police Department deliberately held back from using tear gas during the protests Sunday night under orders from City Manager Christine Daniel, according to city officials.

Mayor Tom Bates said Monday that he and other Berkeley City Council members had been disturbed by the aggressive tone of the demonstrations Saturday night, when Berkeley police shot rubber bullets, other projectiles, and tear gas at hundreds of demonstrators who refused to leave Telegraph Avenue. He conveyed this concern to Daniel, who apparently was also concerned. She then told Berkeley police to refrain from using tear gas unless absolutely necessary.

Protesters smashed more than a dozen windows and sprayed graffiti on businesses up and down Shattuck Avenue, as well others on Telegraph Avenue, Sunday night. While a few businesses were damaged in the Saturday protests, including Wells Fargo Bank on San Pablo Avenue and Radio Shack on Shattuck, which was hit both nights, the damage was more severe the night of the stepped-back police response.

We regarded “the use of tear gas to be questionable,” said Bates. “We didn’t want to see it happen again unless absolutely necessary…. There was a backing off.” … Continue reading »

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Two years after the shooting of Pamula Mullins, Berkeley police are still looking for clues to her killing

Screen shot 2014-12-04 at 9.44.37 AM
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Cathy White has never forgotten the last phone conversation she had with her younger sister, Pamula Mullins.

It was the evening of Dec. 4, 2012. The two sisters were discussing what each would make for Christmas dinner. Mullins offered to make her “messy” salad – a salad chock full of things other than lettuce – and White was gently trying to talk her out of it. Unbeknownst to Mullins, no-one in the family really liked her salad, but they were too polite to tell her that directly.

After a good laugh — the two sisters were very close — Mullins said she had to get off the phone to go to the store.

That was the last time White talked to her sister. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Nov. 20-26

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is an overview of recent crime in Berkeley, exclusively compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Nov. 20-26, there were reports of 27 burglaries, 28 auto break-ins or thefts from vehiclesnine stolen vehicles and 17 disturbances, according to CrimeMapping.com. Eleven robberies13 assaults or batteries, no weapon-related calls and two sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included an arson, three burglaries, a sex crime and a weapon-related call. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

Please do not hesitate to share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch.

Thursday, Nov. 20

There were five home burglaries: at 2:17 a.m. in the 2100 block of Russell Street; at 5:30 a.m. in the 2600 block of Regent Street; at 8 a.m. in the 900 block of Creston Road; at 8:15 a.m. in the 1300 block of Derby Street; and at 5:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Sacramento Street. Police arrested Jason Wells, 41, in connection with the Russell Street incident on suspicion of second-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools and committing a felony while on bail, along with other violations.

There were three commercial burglaries: at 3 a.m. in the 2900 block of Telegraph Avenue; at 4:05 a.m. in the 2900 block of College Avenue; and at 11:22 a.m. in the 1800 block of University Avenue.

Police responded to three disturbance calls: at 11:35 a.m. in the 1800 block of San Pablo Avenue; at 3:40 p.m. in the 2500 block of Telegraph Avenue; and at 9:08 p.m. in the 2600 block of San Pablo Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Suspects in Grizzly Peak robbery, kidnapping identified

Moon crescent over Emeryville by Ira Serkes. Photo taken Nov. 23, 2014
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Update, Dec. 17: UCPD spokesman Lt. Eric Tejada said the initial release that went out saying three people had been arrested in this case had been wrong, and has since been corrected. The release posted online now reads that three people were identified in the case Dec. 1.

“This investigation is ongoing, but three suspects have been identified. There is reason to believe that these suspects committed similar additional crimes in the hills above Berkeley & Oakland on the night of Wednesday, November 26th / early morning of Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Day). We are asking for any additional victims or witnesses to please contact the UC Berkeley Police Department or their own local police department to make a report as soon as possible.”

UCPD sends out crime alerts by email, but never sent out a corrected news release.

The department announced Dec. 17 that arrests were made Tuesday. Read more on Berkeleyside.

The headline and story below have now been corrected to reflect the accurate information. … Continue reading »

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Police: Man found dead in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park

Aquatic-Park
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The body of a man was found Sunday afternoon in South Aquatic Park in Berkeley.

Berkeley police said it is too soon to determine whether foul play is involved. The incident is being investigated as a suspicious death.

Read the update on this story.

Berkeley police responded Sunday, Nov. 30, to a call at 4:12 p.m. to check on the welfare of a man reportedly lying on his back, motionless, to the south side of Aquatic Park, according to a Nixle alert put out by the Berkeley Police Department at around 7 p.m. Sunday. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Armed robbery, kidnapping on Grizzly Peak Blvd

The view from Grizzly Peak Boulevard near Signpost 15. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Three men armed with handguns and a baseball bat kidnapped and robbed a man and a woman at a dirt turn-out along Grizzly Peak Boulevard at 2 a.m. today.

The two victims, a 26-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, were sitting in their car looking out toward the bay. Three suspects, two armed with handguns and one with a baseball bat, approached them and demanded money. The victims had no money on them, so one suspect entered their car and demanded that they drive to an ATM. The other suspects followed in their car.

At the ATM, the victims provided the suspects with the money and the suspects left the area. There were no injuries during the encounter. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Nov. 13-19

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is an overview of recent crime in Berkeley, exclusively compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Nov. 13-19, there were reports of 14 burglaries31 auto break-ins or thefts from vehiclesfive stolen vehicles and 18 disturbances, according to CrimeMapping.com. Six robberies11 assaults or batteries, no weapon-related calls and no sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included a robbery, two stolen vehicles and a weapon-related call. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

Please do not hesitate to share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch.

Thursday, Nov. 13

Police responded to four disturbances: at 5:20 a.m. in the 2700 block of Seventh Street; at 6:38 a.m. in the 2500 block of Regent Street; at 11:23 a.m. at University Avenue and Fifth Street; and at 3:35 p.m. in the 2600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

There were five home burglaries: at 7:50 a.m. in the 1700 block of Blake Street; at 8 a.m. in the 2100 block of Sacramento Street; at 8 a.m. in the 1400 block of Hopkins Street; at 10:40 a.m. in the 700 block of San Luis Road; and at 2 p.m. in the 1500 block of Hearst Avenue.

There was a robbery at 1:45 p.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue. … Continue reading »

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