Tag Archives: Berkeley burglaries


Serious Berkeley crime skyrockets in first half of 2015

The 2015 mid-year crime report: numbers are up almost across the board. Image: Berkeley Police Department
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Berkeley police are reporting significant increases in serious crimes including robberies, aggravated assaults and burglaries during the first half of 2015, compared to statistics from 2014.

Police officials are set to present the annual mid-year crime report to the Berkeley City Council at a special session Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“2015 has been a challenging year for law enforcement,” police wrote in the report for council. Overall, serious crime reports increased 23% from the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period this year. The numbers do not take into account population density.

According to police, robberies increased 53%, from 108 in the first half of 2014 to 165 this year. (The numbers are still lower, however, than the 221 robberies reported in the first half of 2013, police note in the report.) Police said, this year, pedestrian robberies increased 52%, a trend that appears to have begun in late 2014 as the numbers started to push up.

Berkeleyside reported the apparent increase in robberies in mid-May, and asked for more detailed information from the Berkeley Police Department’s records bureau, which has not responded to the request despite repeated attempts to learn more about the robbery trends in the city. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police arrest 3 teens with loaded gun

Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Update, Sept. 9: Emauj Roos has also been charged in connection with a shooting over the prior weekend on Carleton Street. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Original story, Aug. 27: Police arrested three teenagers with a loaded handgun earlier this week after receiving a report about a suspicious vehicle in West Berkeley.

Monday at 7:15 p.m., said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, the department got an anonymous tip about a vehicle described as suspicious that was parked on Seventh Street near Channing Way.

According to the unknown caller, the people inside the suspicious vehicle were talking about ‘quantities and cost,'” said White in an email. 

Police responded to the scene and detained four people in the vehicle. During the detention, officers found a loaded handgun and “some burglary tools,” said White. The handgun was confiscated as evidence. … Continue reading »

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‘Stolen 911’ helps woman recover pilfered painting

 “Some people said I would never see it again," said Nellie Hill of Berkeley, seen here with her recovered oil painting, which had been stolen in January. Photo: Stolen 911
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A Berkeley woman has recovered a treasured family painting, stolen from her home in January, with the help of a website designed to get stolen goods back into the hands of their rightful owners.

North Berkeley resident Nellie Hill got a phone call last week from a Marin County man who had come into possession of the stolen oil painting, and wanted to return it.

Hill said the man had searched for the painter’s name online, and found a listing she had created on the website Stolen 911. Her post described the theft of the artwork and asked for help getting it back. The man called Hill after seeing the post, and told her he wanted to return the painting.

Hill said she had not expected the call, particularly because so much time had passed since the package containing the painting had been stolen from her home less than an hour after it had been delivered in late January. … Continue reading »

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Alleged Looking Glass Photo burglar caught on video

Police are looking for information on a burglar who stole items from Looking Glass Photo over the weekend. Photo: Looking Glass
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Police are looking for a man who took cameras and lenses from Looking Glass Photo in West Berkeley over the weekend, and the shop has released video footage of the alleged thief.

Jennifer Waicukauski, owner of Looking Glass, posted surveillance footage from the burglary on her Facebook page on Saturday.

“If anyone recognizes the person in this video please contact the Berkeley police department immediately,” she wrote. (The video appears below.) … Continue reading »

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After home invasion, Berkeley resident says: Lock up

Berkeley Police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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A Berkeley resident surprised at home by several intruders Friday afternoon reminds the community to lock up over the holiday weekend.

The woman was home in the 100 block of Hillcrest Road in the Claremont neighborhood when the burglars came inside. She shared the news with neighbors over a local Yahoo email list.

“Our house was broken into around 3:10 this afternoon while I was home,” she wrote. “The intruders got spooked when our dogs barked and they realized I was there.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley home burglaries spike in 2015 over prior year

Police have reported sharp increases in home burglaries around Berkeley. (Click the map to view it larger.) Image: BPD
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Berkeley police are reporting huge increases in home burglaries in early 2015 compared to preliminary statistics recorded last year.

Police received 70 home burglary calls for service in January 2015, compared to 46 the prior year. In February, the gap was even starker: There were 80 home burglary calls, compared to 25 the prior year. That’s a 220% increase.

In late March, those increases prompted the police department to put out a community alert to inform local residents about the issue.

The most noticeable pattern of burglaries is occurring in three neighborhoods, police said: north of Ohlone Park, south of the UC Berkeley campus and in the Elmwood district, as pictured in the “heat map” above.

Continue reading »

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Violent crime dropped 25% in Berkeley in 2014

Berkeley's annual crime report is coming up Tuesday night. Image: Berkeley Police Department
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Police officials will give the Berkeley City Council a broad overview of 2014 crime trends Tuesday night, showing significant reductions in the city’s most serious incidents.

Last year saw a 25% reduction in violent crimes, and a 5% reduction in property crimes. The annual crime report draws largely on data submitted to the FBI. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports program tracks homicide, robbery, rape, burglary, larceny, auto theft and aggravated assault across 17,000 law enforcement agencies, which represent 90% of these agencies nationwide.

The city saw increases in aggravated assaults (8%) and commercial burglaries (28%). Arson reports were flat. Police said the assaults “frequently involved alcohol or drug abuse by victim and/or suspect, and frequently involved acquaintances.”  … Continue reading »

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Interrupted burglar grabs woman in Berkeley home

Image: Google maps
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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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Violent crime reports down 44% in Berkeley

The 2014 mid-year crime report. Image: Berkeley Police Department
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Fewer robberies, rapes and aggravated assaults led to a 44% drop in violent crime reports for serious offenses in Berkeley over the first half of the year, according to new data released by the Berkeley Police Department.

The mid-year crime report for January through June 2014 — scheduled to be presented to the Berkeley City Council later this month — shows decreases since last year in many of the crimes that tend to cause the most alarm.

It’s the first time the overall violent crime numbers have dropped since 2011. Robberies, especially, showed a steep decline. Property crimes, too, also fell, other than a 4% increase in vehicle thefts, according to the report. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police chase leads to stolen car, burglary tools

A man found in a stolen car led police on a short foot chase Thursday. Image: Google Maps
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A man who led police on a short foot chase Thursday was linked to a stolen car full of burglary tools, authorities said Friday.

Thursday just before 1 p.m., the Berkeley Police Department received a call about a man in South Berkeley who was slumped over in a car that reportedly had been running for three hours, said Capt. Andrew Greenwood.

Police and paramedics responded to the 2900 block of Adeline Street, and found a 41-year-old man who was later identified as Roberto Pasillas of Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Authorities: Berkeley Apple store thief strikes again

Police say Mohannad Halaweh rented a 2012 McLaren luxury sports car using a stolen credit card number. Photo: Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
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A Rohnert Park teenager who allegedly used a fraudulent credit card to buy 14 iPhones from the Berkeley Apple store earlier this year is facing new charges in Sonoma County after authorities say he used a stolen credit card number to rent a high-end sports car and $12 million vacation house this month.

Officers arrested 19-year-old Mohannad Halaweh on June 4 at 6:45 p.m. after spotting him with a friend after they were stopped in a 2012 McLaren sports car, according to a statement from the Sonoma County sheriff’s department.

The McLaren, worth approximately $240,000, had been reported stolen after the credit card used to rent it was determined to have been fraudulent, said Sgt. Michael Raasch of the Sonoma County sheriff’s office Monday. … Continue reading »

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Car used for smash-and-grab at Apple store in Berkeley

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 10.48.17 AM
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UPDATE, May 19: The Apple store on Berkeley’s Fourth Street re-opened for business today, 10 days after the smash-and-grab robbery where suspects drove a car through its front window.

ORIGINAL STORY: A car was driven through the glass façade of the Apple store on Berkeley’s Fourth Street in the early hours of Friday morning.

The incident appears to be a deliberate smash-and-grab case as several items were stolen from the store, according to the Berkeley police.

The car, which went right through the front of the store at 1823 Fourth St., damaged both the front doors and the roll-up metal security gate, leaving a trail of broken glass. … Continue reading »

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Teen tries to buy 14 iPhones, 2 laptops with fake credit card at Apple store

Fourth Street Apple store. Photo: Patrick Nagel
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A 19-year-old from Rohnert Park is facing three felony charges after authorities said he tried to use a fake Visa card for a shopping spree at the Apple store in Berkeley’s popular Fourth Street shopping district.

According to court papers, Mohannad Halaweh went into the Apple store, at 1823 Fourth St. in West Berkeley, earlier this month and tried to buy more than $10,000 worth of gear.

Police said Halaweh attempted to buy 14 iPhones and two MacBook Air laptop computers shortly before 4 p.m. March 8. … Continue reading »

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