Category Archives: Crime

Crime

Berkeleyside Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, 3/27-4/2

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is a partial list of recent crime in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. See recent Berkeley crime coverage here.

The following items represent just a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate. From March 27 to April 2, there were 13 burglary reports23 auto break-in or theft from a vehicle reports, and 10 stolen vehicle reports to the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.comOne robbery and eight assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries were reported. These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information.

[Editor's Note: We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or via Facebook or Twitter; please let us know when you write if you prefer to be anonymous.] 

Thursday, March 27

A felony assault or battery was reported at 12:08 a.m. in the 1100 block of Ward Street.

A commercial burglary was reported at 4:19 a.m. in the 1800 block of Fourth Street. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police use gift cards, surveillance to track robber

Berkeley Police logo
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March 5 at 9:35 p.m., three men with a gun approached a woman on her way home in the 1500 block of Eighth Street and took her bag, police said.

Berkeley Police officers investigated, and found surveillance footage taken 20 minutes after the robbery showing a teenage girl at Target buying eight Visa gift cards with a credit card stolen during the robbery. Surveillance images also show a gold sedan in the parking lot. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man tied to Berkeley drug sales charged with 5 felonies

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An Oakland man with 12 prior felony convictions has been charged with five more, related to drug sales and gun possession, after his arrest by the Berkeley Police Department in late March.

Arage Hayes, 51, has been charged with possession for sale of cocaine base and powder cocaine; possession of a controlled substance with a firearm — a Bryco Arms 9mm; possession of a firearm by a felon; and the obliteration of the identification number on the firearm.

According to court papers, Berkeley Police officer Christopher Bonaventure served a search warrant for Hayes at his home in the 1100 block of 24th Street in West Oakland in October.

Hayes was not home during the search, but police said they found cocaine base and powder cocaine packaged for sale, a fraudulent credit card and an unloaded pistol that had been hidden inside a jacket. The serial number of the gun had been filed off, according to court papers. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Breaking: Charges filed against 2 in Berkeley homicide

The man police believe was Berkeley's first homicide victim of 2014 lived in this building on Addison Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The Berkeley Police Department has arrested two people in the city’s only homicide so far this year, authorities said Wednesday.

Police have arrested Berkeley couple Kneitawnye Trishawn Sessoms, 40, and Michael Diggs, 28. Sessoms was arrested Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m., according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department. Diggs has been in custody since March 12 when he was picked up for a parole violation, according to the sheriff’s department.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office has filed murder charges against Sessoms and Diggs for the killing of 54-year-old Sylvan Fuselier in February, police said. Police discovered Fuselier’s body in his apartment in the 1100 block of Addison Street after getting called to check on him after concerns were reported about his whereabouts. … Continue reading »

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Man arrested after DUI car crash, hit and run in Berkeley

Image: Google Maps
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A driver who crashed into several parked vehicles in North Berkeley, then fled the scene as his car burned, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run just after 9:30 Saturday morning, authorities said.

Authorities identified the driver as Geoffrey Cronin, 42, of Berkeley. Cronin was arrested last year in connection with a knife assault and police chase in Berkeley in August.

Saturday, March 29, at 8:16 a.m., Berkeley officers responded to Walnut and Cedar streets after a caller reported an injury accident involving the driver and a parked vehicle, said Berkeley Police spokeswoman officer Jennifer Coats, via email. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley officials: Social media ‘critical’ for transparency

Councilmen Gordon Wozniak and Jesse Arreguín are pushing for more transparency from Berkeley's city manager. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Two members of the Berkeley City Council are pushing the city manager to come up with a concrete plan about how city staff will use social media, via a consent calendar item on Tuesday night’s council agenda.

City staff said in February that a social media policy is in the works. Berkeleyside took a look at the issue that month to follow up on promises from the city in 2011 that the social media policy was in development.

Councilmen Jesse Arreguín and Gordon Wozniak cited Berkeleyside’s article in their April 1 agenda item, in which they direct city manager Christine Daniel to make a report to council on staff efforts to create the policy, and come up with a plan for the use of social media by city departments.

Arreguín and Wozniak said it is “critical” for the city to “move ahead in adopting a social media policy and implementing the use of social media by the Berkeley Police Department, Public Works and other city departments,” particularly because the city is a university town with a large number of residents who use social media “as a primary means of communication.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Alleged murder plot hearing set to end this week

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Update, April 1, 4 p.m. Judge Vernon Nakahara scheduled a decision in the matter for April 9 at 4 p.m.

Original story, April 1: A hearing to determine whether the prosecution has made its case against four men alleged to have conspired to kill a man who posted disrespectful videos and pictures online is set to wrap up in Alameda County Superior Court this week.

Tuesday morning, closing arguments are scheduled to begin at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland in the case against 27-year-old Joseph Carroll Jr.; Emando Roos, 36; Travon Wilson, 28; and Joseph Connors, 28. All four men, along with two alleged victims identified in the investigation, grew up in Berkeley, according to testimony last week.

Alameda County deputy district attorney Luis Marin has argued that Carroll tried to coordinate two acts of violence against one of the intended victims in Oakland last September. Carroll was in Texas at the time of the alleged attack plans, but authorities had tapped his phone lines as part of a high-profile murder investigation involving an 8-year-old girl who was gunned down at a sleepover last July.

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Crime

Berkeleyside Blotter: Crime in Berkeley, March 20-26

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is a partial list of recent crime in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. See recent Berkeley crime coverage here.

The following items represent just a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate. From March 20-26, there were 17 burglary reports26 auto break-in or theft from a vehicle reports, and 14 stolen vehicle reports to the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.comOne robbery and 13 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries were reported. These numbers are subject to change. Click the previous links for the most current information.

[Editor's Note: We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or via Facebook or Twitter; please let us know when you write if you prefer to be anonymous.] 

Thursday, March 20

Two auto burglaries were reported, at 5 a.m. in the 200 block of Alvarado Road, and at 7:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Francisco Street.

Two home burglaries were reported, at 9:10 a.m. in the 2500 block of Ellsworth Street, and at 4 p.m. in the 2800 block of Parker Street. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Teen punched during robbery by Berkeley gang members

Police have described the area of Bonar Street and Allston Way as a "high gang area." Image: Google maps
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Two men have been charged in the robbery of a 14-year-old boy in West Berkeley earlier this month in what police described as a “high gang area,” according to court papers.

According to police, the 14-year-old boy was near Bonar Street and Allston Way when two men and a juvenile male approached him in a Chevrolet Blazer on March 10.

A passenger in the vehicle, identified as Arturo Avalos of Berkeley, got out of the SUV and approached the boy saying, “Give me your phone or I am going to punch you in your face.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley Police on 3 recent shootings: ‘Responding to these incidents is our top priority’

Berkeley Police have responded to three shootings this week. Image: Google Maps
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Three shootings in Berkeley since last weekend have raised safety concerns around town, and police area coordinators have been using their email lists to ask for cooperation and assure residents that the incidents are under investigation.

Two shootings took place on Harmon Street in South Berkeley, on Saturday and Monday, and the third incident took place on Bonar Street in West Berkeley on Tuesday night. Two teenagers were shot in the second Harmon Street incident, but were said to have non-life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported, and there have been no arrests reported.

South Berkeley area coordinator officer Stephanie Polizziani told community members on her email list Thursday that Berkeley Police “detectives and patrol officers are working night and day following up on any leads that come their way to ensure the community’s safety.” … Continue reading »

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Police activity puts Willard Middle School on lockdown

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Willard Middle School in Berkeley was on temporary lockdown this afternoon due to a police search in the area.

At 1 p.m., Berkeley Police received a call about a suspicious person on a property in the 2700 block of Regent Street, police spokeswoman officer Jennifer Coats said.

She continued: “The initial call was suspicious persons, who appeared to be prowling or casing a residence. An officer arrived in the area and observed an attempted burglary into a residence. The officer attempted to detain them and they fled on foot.

“Officers established a perimeter and conducted a yard to yard search. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley asks public for help to create new police beats

The Berkeley Police Department has used the same beat map since 1993, and the city is looking into how to adjust it. (Click to view larger.) Image: Berkeley Police
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The Berkeley Police Department is asking the public for input as it analyzes its current staffing resources and reconsiders how it deploys officers around the city.

This week, the city posted a survey online to collect feedback about what kind of services community members want, and what their priorities are.

The main question is not whether the city should hire more officers. But, rather, the city wants to know: Would community members prefer a larger beat that’s always staffed, or a smaller beat that sometimes has no assigned officer? That approach is, perhaps, understandable given the city’s current budget situation, and the fact that even a new officer hired on to the department makes over $100,000 a year once all is said and done. … Continue reading »

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Crime

4 men with Berkeley ties face murder plot charge

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A man from West Berkeley’s waterfront neighborhood has been in court with three associates before a Superior Court judge since last week after authorities say they tried twice to murder a man who disrespected him and his brother in videos posted on YouTube, as well as his cousin, who was killed in Berkeley last summer, on photography website Instagram.

Defense attorneys have argued that the case against the men is weak, and was blown out of proportion due to its initial connection to the high-profile fatal shooting of a young girl. The evidence against the men is based largely on surveillance and wiretap recordings of slang-ridden conversations that defense attorneys claim consisted more of tough talk than any actual murder plot.

On two dates in September, police say the men planned to shoot a man in Oakland who had been disrespectful in a rap song and other online videos. On both occasions, police responded to the area and say their presence stopped violence from occurring. Authorities said they recorded the group’s plans during a wiretap operation by the Oakland Police Department that started as part of the investigation into the death of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine in Oakland last summer. During that wiretap operation, police said they discovered the group’s plans and began a separate investigation into the alleged conspiracy. … Continue reading »

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