Category Archives: Crime

Crime

Berkeley man charged after rape attempt, death threats

Alameda County Superior Court 5/29/15 Photo: Melati Citrawireja
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A Berkeley man has been charged with three felonies after authorities say he tied up a woman with an electrical cord and tried to rape her.

Police say, according to court papers, the man and woman knew each other. The man was identified as Michael Bishop, 28, of Berkeley. The woman’s name was not released due to privacy laws related to the nature of the charges.

Neighbors on California Street called police Friday at about 6:50 p.m. after hearing a woman “yelling like she was being hit,” according to court papers. Police responded to the apartment for the domestic dispute and could hear a man and woman yelling inside.

When officers knocked on the door and announced themselves, a woman responded from inside: “He’s raping me!” and “Get in here!” according to court documents. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley crime log: Car crash follows Senior Streak, confiscated swords, water rescue drill, stolen golf carts

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. (Click "show crime report" to see the list.) See the map key here.
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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 crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

SNAPSHOT From June 2-8, there were reports of two robberies15 burglaries13 assaults or batteriesthree weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 14 stolen vehicles15 disturbances and 29 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Two sex crimes and one weapons call, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the June 2-8 round-up below several more recent items.

Recent public safety news

BAG GRAB ON COLLEGE A local resident told Berkeleyside on Twitter about a “grab, run & chase” on Woolsey Street between College and Benvenue avenues Thursday, June 16, at about 10 p.m. The victim — who lives in the neighborhood — was “shaken but appears OK,” said Peter Sussman, who was nearby after the crime took place. The man was on his way home from work when robbers struck; he clung to his bag, which held his computer, and chased after the bandits when the strap broke. There were three other robberies in Berkeley that day, according to CrimeMapping.com. Tune into Berkeleyside’s next crime blotter for details.

SENIOR STREAK AT BHS PRECEDES CAR CRASH INVOLVING STUDENTS Earlier this month, June 9, the annual “Senior Streak” tradition at Berkeley High took place just before a car crash involving students that sent one of them to the hospital.

According to an email from BHS Principal Sam Pasarow, “a Berkeley High student was driving on Bancroft and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The student lost control of the car, and it struck several parked cars on the eastern side of MLK Jr. Way. In one of the parked cars was another student, who was taken to the hospital with possible injuries. Berkeley Police Officers responded to the scene immediately and the Berkeley High School Health Center provided medical care for the student who was in the parked car at the time of the collisions.”  … Continue reading »

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2 stabbed, 1 sought after dispute at Berkeley park

A police officer responding to the stabbing at the park crashed into a vehicle at University and Acton, police said. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
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Two people were sent to the hospital Saturday after a stabbing at a Berkeley park next to the popular downtown farmer’s market.

One man was stabbed in the chest, and received injuries that appeared potentially life threatening, and another had a cut to the arm.

One local resident asked Berkeleyside to find out what had taken place after she saw “multiple police cars, yellow crime scene tape everywhere and … someone loaded into an ambulance” at the park. Others noted the increased police presence and wanted to know more.Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley crime log: People’s Park rape, public defender’s community fair, bank robber sentenced for murder, more

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. (Click "show crime report" to see the list.) See the map key here.
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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 crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’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 robberies21 burglaries23 assaults or batteriestwo weapon-involved calls and two sexual assaults to BPD, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also six stolen vehicles10 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.” … Continue reading »

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$50,000 reward offered by FBI to find ‘prolific’ rapist, killer

Authorities are hoping the public can help identify "a violent serial burglar, rapist, and murderer who terrorized multiple communities in California throughout the 1970s and 1980s." Image: FBI
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Federal and local authorities launched a national campaign Wednesday to ask the public for help to find a man they believe is responsible for 12 homicides and 45 rapes in California, and more than 125 home burglaries, between 1976 and 1986.

The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for tips that lead to the arrest, capture and conviction of the man known at various times as the “Golden State Killer,” the “Original Night Stalker” and the “East Area Rapist” — because his crimes began in the eastern district of Sacramento.

The FBI announced the reward Wednesday, along with the launch of a multimedia campaign, and is hoping the broad effort will help bring the man to justice.

“He’s got to be one of the most prolific criminals when you think of the other murder cases that are connected and all of the rape cases and God know what else we don’t know about,” said Ray Biondi, a retired detective with the Sacramento County sheriff’s office, as part of the FBI statement released Wednesday.

According to the FBI, the man began committing crimes in the Sacramento area, where he committed 31 sexual assaults and two homicides from 1976 to 1978. Forty years later, authorities are still seeking clues. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Crime log: Rape reported at dorm, actor surrenders after near-fatal crash, arrests follow robberies, more

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. (Click "show crime report" to see the list.) See the map key here.
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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 crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

SNAPSHOT From May 19-25, there were reports of six robberies19 burglaries18 assaults or batteriesthree weapon-involved calls and two sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 12 stolen vehicleseight disturbances and 23 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A robbery 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 19-25 round-up below several more recent items.

Recent public safety news

ROBBERY AT ASHBY BART A man took multiple pairs of sunglasses from a vendor at the Ashby BART flea market, then pushed the vendor to the ground and fled, the BART Police report. The robbery happened Sunday, June 12, at about 3:10 p.m. The man took the sunglasses without paying and tried to leave the booth. The vendor tried to stop him but was shoved to the ground. Authorities said the vendor was not, however, injured during the encounter. Police searched the area but could not find the robber, who was described as a black man with short black hair, 40 years old and 180-200 pounds, who was wearing a black T-shirt and black shorts.

“POSSIBLE KIDNAPPING” REPORTED NEAR BERKELEY BORDER South Berkeley neighbors were on alert last week, June 8, when police responded to 65th and Herzog streets, in North Oakland, for a report of a possible kidnapping. Berkeleyside kept readers informed on Facebook, and police put out numerous alerts about the incident. OPD said the report came in at about 9:15 a.m. about a possible kidnapping in the 1000 block of 65th. Ultimately, the teenage victim was found safe and the person believed to the responsible, a man in his 20s, was arrested. Several Berkeley Police officers helped block traffic in the area and look for the suspect during the incident. BPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel confirmed today, June 15, this was not related to several kidnapping attempts in Berkeley that began last fall.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT Registration is open for the 2016 National Night Out celebration in Berkeley, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 2. The Berkeley Police Department describes the event as “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.” Last year, more than 100 neighborhood, business and community groups around Berkeley took part in the event. See the registration form here; the deadline to file it is July 26. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man arrested in Berkeley tied to Oakland killing, found with alleged murder weapon

Image via Facebook
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A 21-year-old man from Pittsburg who was arrested in Berkeley on Wednesday with a gun authorities say was used to kill a young woman in Oakland earlier that day has been charged with murder.

Berkeley officers arrested Darion Brown at 10:30 a.m. June 8 after being called to 1201 The Alameda for a report of a man who was “acting aggressive” toward Chevron gas station customers, according to court papers.

The caller told police the man was not allowing customers to leave and “things were ‘escalating.'”

A Berkeley officer who arrived on the scene spoke to Brown and, based on his demeanor and actions, the officer wrote, detained Brown for a mental health evaluation.

Brown had no ID on him, but he said police could look in his backpack for it, according to court documents.

Inside the bag, the officer said he found an unloaded pistol that had been reported stolen. Brown was arrested in connection with carrying the concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of stolen property. … Continue reading »

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Downtown

4 arrested after cell phone theft from coffee shop

BPD patch
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Berkeley Police officers were able to trace the signal from a stolen cell phone to the man they say took it from a coffee shop bathroom after a woman left it there by mistake.

On May 21 at about 3:30 p.m., the young woman was inside the bathroom, in the 2100 block of Oxford Street, when she forgot her phone, which had a case containing her credit cards, too, said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman.

When she realized her mistake, she quickly returned to the restroom to discover that someone was already using it,” White said. “When the person left the restroom, the woman asked the man if he had seen a cell phone case inside. The man told her ‘No’ and quickly ran out of the store.”

Soon afterward, the woman checked her credit card accounts and saw a pending charge on one of them from a nearby gas station. Officers were able to follow up with the station and find surveillance footage from the transaction.

Initially, the woman was able to use cell phone tracking to find the phone, but the signal went cold, White said.

A few hours later, the signal came back on, and led police to an apartment building in the 2300 block of Bonar Street. As police responded to the area, one individual outside the building yelled, “The cops are coming!” White said.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police search nets arrest, stolen gun, cocaine for sale

Police arrested an Oakland man linked to cocaine and a stolen gun on East 17th Street near Seventh Avenue. Image: Google Maps
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Berkeley police arrested a two-time felon in Oakland after searching his home and vehicle and finding 4 ounces of crack cocaine packaged for sale, a stolen loaded gun and nearly two dozen fraudulent debit and credit cards in a hidden compartment.

During the search, which happened April 27, police also recovered more than $7,000 in cash, two digital scales, unused packaging, 12 altered gift cards, a card embosser and a card encoder, according to court documents.

Police searched the person, home and vehicle of 34-year-old Leon Johnson in the 600 block of East 17th Street in Oakland.

According to court papers, a search of Johnson’s cell phones led to the discovery of a text message “indicating that he is selling narcotics.”

The day after the search, police seized another $28,000 from Johnson’s bank accounts. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Teen arrested after robbery attempt, assault at BART

A coroner's van was parked outside the downtown Berkeley BART station. Photo: Karima Zweena
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Police arrested an 18-year-old who grabbed a cell phone from another person at the downtown Berkeley BART station, then punched him in the face before fleeing on a train after a bystander was able to take back the phone.

The robbery attempt happened Sunday just before 1:10 p.m., according to the BART Police.

The victim told police a man had grabbed his phone from his hand, and punched him in the face as he took the phone.

“A male bystander grabbed the phone from the suspect, as the suspect was punching the victim, and returned the phone to the victim,” according to the BART Police. “The suspect fled on a train, which was intercepted by an officer at the Ashby Station.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Crime in Berkeley: Fight with pepper spray, student fight at Realm, woman arrested with burglary tools, more

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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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 crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

SNAPSHOT From May 12-18, there were reports of five robberies15 burglaries16 assaults or batteriesone weapon-involved call and two sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also eight stolen vehicles11 disturbances and 28 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Two burglaries, a robbery and a sex crime were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the May 12-18 round-up below several more recent items.

Recent public safety news

FIGHT WITH PEPPER SPRAY BPD responded to a fight between two people Wednesday, June 1, around 10:45 p.m. at Ashby Avenue 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 Alameda County sheriff’s office.

STUDENT FIGHT There was a fight Thursday, June 2, around 1 p.m. on University Avenue near Realm Charter School that drew a crowd of about 100 students. Berkeleyside readers reported “commotion and heavy police presence on university near San Pablo” and police “talking to folks @ realm high school.” One student was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, Frankel said.

ABANDONED VEHICLE REPORT LEADS TO ARREST A Berkeley parking enforcement officer (PEO) spotted and reported an abandoned vehicle, which led to the arrest of a woman police said had burglary tools and electronic payment cards that did not belong to her. On May 19 at about 1:50 p.m., the officer was in the 1900 block of Milvia Street when he saw someone inside the vehicle as he checked it out. The parking officer discovered that the vehicle had been reported stolen from Antioch; in the meantime, the person inside had walked away. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Jury recommends death in double murder case

Relatives of Anthony Medearis III and Alaysha Carradine thanked members of the district attorney's office, including prosecutor John Brouhard (left) after the verdict came in. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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An Alameda County jury came back Thursday to recommend a sentence of death in the case against Darnell Williams Jr., who had already been found guilty of the killings in 2013 of a little girl at a sleepover and a man who was pleading for his life as he tried to run away.

The same jury found Williams guilty one month ago of those murders, along with the attempted murders of three other people and the accidental shooting of his own nephew. But, because the death penalty was a possible sentence in the case, there has been a second phase of the trial involving new evidence in recent weeks.

Read complete coverage of the case.

The jury deliberated for about a day before coming back with its verdict. Judge Jeffrey Horner said Thursday afternoon that Williams would be sentenced Sept. 21. The jury’s verdict is a recommendation the judge could ultimately reconsider.

Williams did not respond to the verdict except by looking up at the courtroom clock, which he has done often throughout the proceedings. When the judge asked him if he wanted to give up his right to be sentenced within 20 court days, he responded with a quiet “yes.” No supporters attended the hearing on his behalf.

The case was the first one to go to trial under Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in which she sought the death penalty. The last person in the county to be sent to death row was David Mills in 2012 after his conviction for triple murder.

O’Malley attended Thursday’s hearing, and said it was the execution of a child, and the near-deaths of two other children, that — in part — made this case so heinous and prompted her to seek the death penalty.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Woman arrested (again) in Berkeley after arson

Police arrested a transient Berkeley woman in connection with arson Wednesday night. Photo: Paul Kealoha-Blake
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A transient Berkeley woman who’s had repeated run-ins with police in the past is back in custody Thursday after authorities say she set at least one dumpster on fire by the library Wednesday night.

Dawn Carraway, 26, was arrested just before midnight on suspicion of arson. It’s not the first time she’s been arrested in Berkeley in connection with that crime.

Berkeley Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel said reports of dumpster fires began coming into the department at 11:11 p.m. The first two reports involved dumpsters at 2424 Haste St., then Dwight Way and Dana Street.

Berkeley firefighters responded to extinguish the fires.

Just after 11:30 p.m., Frankel said an officer was ‘flagged down’ about a third fire in a concrete trash receptacle at the Central Library at 2090 Kittredge.

“After further investigation, the woman who flagged officers down about the third fire was arrested for setting that fire in front of the library,” Frankel said. “Additional investigation will be necessary to determine if she also set the first two fires.”

Carraway is being held at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $50,000. She is scheduled for arraignment Friday at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. … Continue reading »

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