Category Archives: Crime

Crime

Berkeley police defuse disturbance on Woolsey

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Police have detained one man after he reportedly challenged officers to a confrontation in South Berkeley on Friday morning.

Berkeley Police Officer Ethell Wilson, a department spokesman, said a man dialed 911 at 8:50 a.m. asking for police to come to his location in the 1600 block of Woolsey Street.

“The caller asked the BPD Dispatcher to send the police and bring their guns, and made statements that nothing was going to stop him,” said Wilson by email. “A distraught female’s voice could be heard in the background crying asking him to stop.”

Dispatchers also heard what sounded like it may have been a struggle between the individuals, as well as yelling.

Officers immediately responded to Woolsey, between California and King streets, and secured the area, given what Wilson described as “the potential hostage situation.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

After Corvette crash in Berkeley, man headed to trial

A mangled Corvette that was involved in an early morning accident on Tunnel Road in Berkeley. Photo: Jacquelyn McCormick
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An Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday afternoon that a young man from Tracy will face the charges against him after authorities say he crashed a Corvette on Tunnel Road in Berkeley last summer and put his friend in a coma.

Anthony Edward Torpey, 22, was charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with driving under the influence and causing a crash that resulted in injuries; driving with a .08% blood alcohol causing injury; leaving the scene of an accident; and attempting to dissuade a witness.

According to police, Torpey was identified as the driver of a vehicle that crashed June 20, 2014, into a concrete pillar, a tree and then a concrete wall on Tunnel Road, near Alvarado and The Uplands, “causing major head trauma” to his passenger. The passenger, identified in court papers as a friend of Torpey’s, was taken to Highland Hospital where he was found to be in a coma. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police serve search warrants, make arrests in Berkeley

Police activity at Sixth and Cedar streets on Thursday. Photo: Citizen reporter
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Scroll to the bottom of this story for a statement from the Oakland Police Department about Thursday’s investigation.

Local police officers made at least three arrests at undisclosed locations around Berkeley on Thursday morning. Those operations were reportedly part of a broader sweep by the Oakland Police Department to crack down on gang activities tied to East Oakland.

Police have not released the names of the people who were arrested, where the arrests took place, or the potential charges faced by those taken into custody.

But, beginning in the early morning hours Thursday, residents around the city took to Twitter to ask Berkeleyside to find out about police actions that included what appeared to be SWAT teams, officers who looked to be heavily armed and hovering helicopters. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 19-25

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. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know 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. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern.

From Feb. 19-25, there were reports of four robberies23 burglaries18 assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and two sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 21 stolen vehicles11 disturbances and 22 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included one sex crime. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

Thursday, Feb. 19

Three vehicles were stolen: at midnight in the 1300 block of Second Street; at 6 p.m. in the 2000 block of Ninth Street; and at 11 p.m. in the 900 block of Hearst Avenue.

There were seven home burglaries: at 7 a.m. in the 2200 block of Blake Street; at 8 a.m. in the 1800 block of 62nd Street; at 8:30 a.m. in the 2100 block of Ashby Avenue; at 10 a.m. in the 2400 block of Fulton Street; at noon in the 600 block of Santa Rosa Avenue; and at 2:05 p.m. in the 3300 block of California Street.

There were four commercial burglaries: at 2 p.m. in the 600 block of Harrison Street; at 7:30 p.m. in the 2400 block of Stuart Street; and two at 9:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Shattuck Avenue.

Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 5:15 p.m. in the 1100 block of University Avenue.

According to Berkeley Police Officer Jennifer Coats: Just before 7:30 p.m., the occupants of a vehicle yelled profanities at someone in the crosswalk outside Trader Joe’s, at 1885 University: “It appears they felt the victim wasn’t walking fast enough.” Coats said by email that “The victim engaged one of the occupants of the vehicle, by striking them.” The driver stopped and the occupants got out of the vehicle and assaulted the victim, who fell to the ground, and was struck several more times, causing minor injuries. The suspects got back into the vehicle and fled the area. One witness told Berkeleyside by email that “The first assailant got out, confronted the victim and hit him. Within seconds, if not milliseconds, the victim was fleeing west and three other males poured out of the car and grabbed him, taking him down on the west side of the pallet where they beat him.” The witness said several people were “scribbling down the license plate at which point the boys jumped into the car and sped away with difficulty and lots of honking to get into the flow of traffic. The victim tried to stand up and then collapsed.” The witness said the assailants all appeared to be under 30 years old.

There was a robbery at 11:50 p.m. at Acton and Virginia streets. … Continue reading »

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Felon to face 2012 Berkeley robbery, carjacking charges

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A 37-year-old Concord man is set to face charges after a 2012 robbery series in Berkeley that targeted the Magic Fingers massage parlor on University Avenue, which has since closed.

Samay Pomsouvanh was charged in the case in 2012, but he was not tried in the matter because he was sent to prison in connection with an armed robbery at the home of a prostitute in San Mateo.

Pomsouvanh was released from prison into the custody of the Alameda County sheriff’s department in early February to face the pending charges against him for the 2012 incidents in Berkeley.

According to court documents, Pomsouvanh and four associates — Quoc Bui, Eddie Chiwei Cheung, Aaron Boungnarith and Whitney Sullivan — were tied to robberies in 2012 at Magic Fingers, at 2047 University Ave. (west of Shattuck Avenue), on June 18, June 23, July 1 and July 6, along with another incident of robbery and carjacking June 27. The suspects reportedly posed as law enforcement officials, and tied up their victims with zip ties or duct tape during the robberies. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police arrest 2 more after December homicide in Berkeley

Kamahl Middleton
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Authorities have arrested two more men tied to the fatal shooting in West Berkeley that killed Kamahl Middleton, a 36-year-old El Sobrante man, in December.

Authorities tracked down one of the men — 18-year-old Khalil Leroy Phanor of San Leandro — in Washington state, and arrested him Thursday night. The Alameda County district attorney’s office had already charged Phanor on Monday with murder, robbery and assault with a firearm.

Also charged Monday was 20-year-old San Leandro resident Carl Young, who was arrested last week.

The Berkeley Police Department’s homicide detail arrested a third man, 19-year-old Gregory Foote, on Friday in Hayward, with the assistance of the Hayward Police SWAT team. The arrest took place at 7:30 a.m. in the 2300 block of Tahiti Street. Foote was arrested on suspicion of homicide, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, and was taken to Berkeley Jail for booking. He was not yet listed online as in custody as of publication time. [Update, 9:22 p.m. Foote is being held without bail at Berkeley Jail and is scheduled for arraignment Monday.] … Continue reading »

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Crime

Interrupted burglar grabs woman in Berkeley home

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Police are asking for the community’s help after a startled burglar grabbed a North Berkeley resident who found him inside her home.

The Live Oak/Codornices Creek Neighborhood Association email list was abuzz Thursday about the incident, in the 2300 block of Eunice Street (between Spruce Street and Glen Avenue) shortly before 10 a.m. (Berkeleyside first reported the incident on Facebook.)

According to one local resident, who shared the news with her neighborhood over email, the woman “heard a noise around 10am and went to investigate and turned around and was assaulted by a tall man dressed in all black who attacked her.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 12-18

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. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know 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. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern.

From Feb. 12-18, there were reports of four robberies26 burglaries18 assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and three sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 11 stolen vehicles19 disturbances and 28 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included five reports of vandalism. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

Thursday, Feb. 12

There were two home burglaries, at 1:30 a.m. in the 2700 block of Durant Avenue, and at 7:25 a.m. in the 800 block of Cedar Street.

There was a commercial burglary at 5 a.m. in the 2500 block of San Pablo Avenue.

A vehicle was stolen at 5 a.m. in the 3000 block of Mabel Street.

There was a robbery at 10:45 a.m. in the 1000 block of University Avenue.

According to the BART police, a thief stole a $400 silver Dahon Mariner B7 foldable bicycle that had been secured with cable and U locks at the North Berkeley BART station between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

There were three disturbance calls: at 3:38 p.m. in the 2300 block of McKinley Avenue; at 5:15 p.m. in the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue; and at 10:15 p.m. in the 1000 block of University Avenue.

According to the BART police, a thief grabbed an iPhone 6 from a woman’s hand while she was on a Fremont-bound train approaching the Ashby BART station at about 6:15 p.m. The suspect fled the station in an unknown direction. … Continue reading »

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Crime

2 men charged after fatal Berkeley shooting

Kamahl Middleton
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Two men have been charged with murder after the shooting death in December of an El Sobrante man in a West Berkeley parking lot.

Carl Young Jr., 20, and 18-year-old Khalil Leroy Phanor, both of San Leandro, were charged Monday with murder, second-degree robbery and assault with a firearm by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

Berkeley police arrested Young on Thursday in Oakland, but Phanor is still at large. Officers arrested a 17-year-old male on Thursday as well, but his status was unavailable from authorities Monday because of privacy laws protecting minors.

The fatal shooting took place Dec. 29 on San Pablo Avenue, just north of University Avenue in West Berkeley, in a parking lot used by the 99 Cents Only store and other businesses, and adjacent to Everett & Jones Barbecue. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police find empty house after reported hostage call

Two police vehicles at Tacoma and  Colusa. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Update, 11:45 p.m. Berkeley Police Lt. Jennifer Louis confirmed that police have cleared a home in the 1800 block of Tacoma Avenue, and found no one inside despite an earlier report of a dangerous situation there.

Louis said a caller phoned dispatch at 9:26 p.m. to report a domestic violence incident at the North Berkeley home.

Officers responded and searched the home, but ultimately found it to be empty.

Louis said the caller provided “very limited information” while speaking with dispatch, and that there was a possibility the call had been a hoax.

Update, 11:30 p.m. Officers have swept the house and determined that the interior is clear. Perimeter units have been released from the area.

Original post, 10:52 p.m. Berkeley police officers are on the scene in the 1800 block of Tacoma Avenue, between Colusa Avenue and The Alameda, after a man called police and told them he had stabbed his girlfriend, had tied up her lover and was threatening to shoot him. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police arrest 2 after December killing

Kamahl Middleton
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Police have arrested a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy in connection with the double shooting in Berkeley in December of an El Sobrante paraplegic who died at the scene, and a woman with him who survived the attack.

Police arrested Carl Young Jr. on Thursday in Oakland on suspicion of murder, second-degree robbery and assault with a firearm. He was arrested at 9 a.m. but was not booked into Berkeley Jail until just after midnight Friday, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department. The teenager’s name was not released because he is a minor.

Young is being held without bail, and is scheduled for arraignment Monday at 2 p.m. at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland in Department 112.

The fatal shooting took place Dec. 29 on San Pablo Avenue, just north of University Avenue in West Berkeley, in a parking lot used by the 99 Cents Only store and other businesses, and adjacent to Everett & Jones Barbecue.

The Berkeley Police Department’s homicide detail has been actively investigating the case since the night of Dec. 29, police said Friday.Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 5-11

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. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know 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. 

From Feb. 5-11, there were reports of three robberies23 burglaries18 assaults or batteries, no weapon-involved calls and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 18 stolen vehicles23 disturbances and 25 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included two assaults and a stolen vehicle. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

Thursday, Feb. 5

There were two home burglaries, at 11 a.m. in the 1000 block of University Avenue, and at 9 p.m. in the 1300 block of Bonita Avenue.

There were two disturbances, at 1:20 p.m. at Telegraph Avenue and Oregon Street, and at 5:23 p.m. in the 2700 block of Hillegass Avenue.

Police arrested 31-year-old Quincy Mason on a warrant for vehicle theft and other violations. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail and was scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Feb. 19. He is ineligible for bail because he was already under law enforcement supervision. Police also arrested Vanessa Rascon, 35, in connection with the same case. She remains in custody with a bail of $200,000 and was set for a pre-trial hearing Thursday, Feb. 19. She has been charged with vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, forgery and identity theft, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley student charged after alleged sexual assault on fraternity brother

Alpha Epsilon Pi at UC Berkeley. Image: Google maps
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A UC Berkeley student has been charged with two felony counts after police say he sexually assaulted a fraternity brother at their  home Friday.

Berkeley Police Officer Kenneth Tu wrote in court papers that 21-year-old Jordan Schaer reached into the pants of a sleeping fraternity brother and groped his penis, according to the alleged victim. Tu wrote that the student claimed Schaer also tried to put his finger into the young man’s anus.

Schaer’s attorney, Kellin Cooper, said Wednesday that he expects his client to be fully exonerated of the charges against him.

“Sexual assault allegations are often times made simply by a verbal statement without any corroboration,” Cooper said by email. “Unfortunately, all too often the allegations are quickly adopted by law enforcement and they become close minded to the truth and only view facts skewed toward the allegation rather than evaluate facts objectively. This is what happened here. I expect that after Mr. Schaer has his day in court the truth will come out and he will be exonerated of all charges.”

The incident is alleged to have taken place at 2430 Piedmont Ave., at the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house where both young men lived. … Continue reading »

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