Tag Archives: Berkeley crime


Berkeley police warn about 5 Northside robberies

Five robberies in Berkeley's Northside neighborhood may be linked, police said. Red dots indicate a gun was used, and green dots indicate that a weapon was not used. Source: BPD
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After three new pedestrian robberies in North Berkeley in just five days — all of which involved a gun — police are warning local residents to pay attention to their surroundings, and say they believe the crimes may be linked.

Authorities say these latest crimes follow a trio of robberies in November that could also be connected.

The three most recent incidents happened in the Northside neighborhood above the UC Berkeley campus between Dec. 1 and Dec. 5, according to a notice police released Wednesday afternoon.

“In light of these events, the Berkeley Police Department will be increasing the number of patrols in North Berkeley,” authorities said in Wednesday’s statement.

Read more about other robberies in Berkeley.

Monday, just after 7:10 p.m., the robbers approached a couple near Spruce and Virginia streets and robbed them. One of the men pulled out a gun and demanded their phones and backpacks. The robbers, described as men in their 20s or 30s, fled east on Virginia. … Continue reading »

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Convicted killer sentenced to 118 years to life

Yellow tags marked the location of evidence at the 2010 shooting scene. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson has denied a defense motion for a new trial and sentenced Brandon Wallace, 27, to 118 years to life in prison for a 2010 shooting in Berkeley that claimed one life and could have taken another.

The sentencing came more than eight months after Wallace’s conviction for the murder of Gary Ferguson Jr. and the attempted murder of Larry Belle outside a South Berkeley barbershop on Sacramento Street.

Thursday, Rolefson heard arguments from defense attorney Bonnie Narby and prosecutor Matt Wendt about whether a statement from codefendant Coleon Carroll presented significant enough evidence to trigger a new trial. Carroll took a plea deal in the case and said he was the getaway driver after the shooting.

Rolefson heard Carroll’s testimony and that of several others, but ultimately denied the defense motion and said he did not believe Carroll was credible. Carroll said his deceased cousin Jermaine Davis was actually responsible for the crime of which Wallace had been convicted.

Wallace was convicted in March of being one of two assailants in the 2010 double shooting. Police found him in the hospital, with a gunshot wound to the thigh, shortly after they were called to the Sacramento Street crime scene. Detectives said Wallace’s description, injury and clothing tied him to the Berkeley shooting. The other gunman has not been arrested or publicly identified. … Continue reading »

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Police investigate gunshots in West Berkeley

Police cordoned off an area in West Berkeley to investigate gunshots on Tuesday Dec. 6, 2016. Photo: Guillaume Pierre
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Berkeley Police are investigating evidence of gunfire in the middle of the afternoon Tuesday in the area of Seventh Street and Channing Way.

According to BPD’s  Sgt. Andrew Frankel, at 2:46 p.m. police dispatch received multiple reports of shots heard and/or fired “somewhere in the area of Seventh Street and University.”

Once on scene the police found that a sedan parked on the 2400 block of Seventh Street had been hit gunfire.

There were no reported injuries associated with the shooting and it remains unclear what the motive was, Frankel said by email. … Continue reading »

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2 juveniles tied to North Berkeley vandalism spree

2 juveniles were arrested early on Wednesday morning for vandalizing windows on Solano Avenue. Photo: Lance Knobel
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Nearly 30 businesses on the north side of Solano Avenue were vandalized early Wednesday morning by two youths who scratched “Felipe” and some obscene words on their windows, authorities report.

According to Berkeley police, a witness phoned at 2:16 a.m. Wednesday to say they saw two males vandalizing windows on Solano near Ensenada Avenue.

Police chased the youths on foot for four blocks and apprehended one of them. The other was arrested at 4:35 a.m.

Both are juveniles, one from Albany and the other from El Cerrito. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police warn community about robbery spree

Source: Google Maps/Berkeleyside
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In just 20 minutes, there were two pedestrian robberies, and one attempt, in Berkeley on Wednesday night, and police are warning the community to be on the lookout for the trio believed to be responsible for them. In two of the incidents, victims were punched while their property was taken, according to police and community reports.

The incidents took place from about 9:10 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, beginning in South Berkeley and moving up into North Berkeley.

Police did not release a lot of detail about the alleged robbers, but said — in two of the cases — they were described as two black women and one black man, all of whom appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s. (No suspect information was available in the other case.)

“Based on the descriptions of the suspects, their close geographic and temporal proximity, investigators believe that the incidents are related,” according to a Nixle alert released by BPD early Thursday afternoon.  … Continue reading »

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Police roust homeless camp; activists vow to return

Berkeley police arrest Nanci Armstrong-Temple on Nov. 4. The Alameda County District Attorney declined to press charges.  Photo: Paul Blake
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Early Friday morning, Berkeley police dismantled an encampment that had been set up on Adeline Street to protest the way the city provides homeless services.

A contingent of police officers came to the intersection of Adeline and Fairview around 5 a.m. and forced the 30 or so people sleeping on the pavement to get up and out.

The nature of the interaction is in dispute, with many homeless people saying they were rousted without warning, manhandled, even injured, and their stuff was thrown indiscriminately into the back of a truck. A city spokesman disagreed with that characterization and said the encampment had received two previous warnings to pack up and leave, and that police were respectful. In addition, said Matthai Chakko, the tents, blankets, sleeping bags and other belongings that were collected were bagged and tagged. The city’s homeless outreach worker was on the scene to help facilitate a return of those items to their owners, he said.

Following the early-morning incident, Berkeley Police issued a Nixle alert around 12:20 p.m. to say there was “a civic demonstration in the area of northbound MLK north of Ashby.” They advised motorists to use caution.

Four people were arrested Friday morning. (See below for details)  Nanci Armstrong-Temple, who is running for City Council in District 2, appears to be one of those who was taken into custody. She came to the scene shortly after the raid commenced, part of a group of allies of the homeless who are contacted via an e-tree or phone tree when an action is imminent, according to Mike Lee, who is running for mayor.

“They were slamming women to the ground,” said Mike Zint, an activist who was one of the leaders of Liberty City, an encampment set up in front of Old City Hall. “It’s horrible what they did. They specifically targeted Nanci. Also Andrea Prichett.” (Prichett is a founding member of Copwatch.) … Continue reading »

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Update: Nanny caught on camera hitting baby, police say, in disturbing court papers

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A 44-year-old nanny who has worked for “a number of different families” for over a decade has been charged with felony child abuse this week after being caught on video using “physical violence” against a baby boy who wouldn’t go to sleep, Berkeley Police report.

According to court papers, the nanny can be seen in surveillance footage earlier this month “hitting, slapping, throwing, dragging and forcing the victims head into its bed causing the victim to cry uncontrollably.”

Last week Friday, … Continue reading »

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Man, 22, arrested after 3 Berkeley shootings, charged with attempted murder, child abuse

Authorities are standing by in San Pablo Park for the arrival of a patient from Alta Bates Hospital. Photo: hfidek
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A former Berkeley High student has been charged with 13 felonies, including attempted murder and child abuse, after three shootings in Berkeley this year, two of which left teenage boys with injuries.

Two of the shootings took place in September. In one, Sept. 18, a cyclist shot at a pickup truck near Oregon and Dohr streets. No one was injured, although bullets hit a number of houses, police said. The shooting was not random.

Several days later, Sept. 21, a 16-year-old boy was shot while crossing Sacramento Street at Russell Street at 5:40 p.m., police said. There may have been additional gunfire as well.

The other shooting took place in May in a San Pablo Park bathroom during a drug deal, police said in court papers. On Friday, police arrested 22-year-old Jahkyl Knight in connection with the September shootings and, according to court papers, he confessed to the San Pablo Park incident as well.

Read more about shootings in Berkeley.

According to court documents, Knight told police he went to the park May 17 to sell some marijuana. He said he and the buyer had a dispute about the amount, and “the victim told him he would take his Marijuana from him and started walking toward him.”

Knight said he pulled out his gun and shot the buyer.

“Knight stated that the victim fell to the ground and that he then stood over him and shot him multiple times while he was on the ground,” police wrote. He told police he fled the scene, but dropped his scale as he ran.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police pursue driver into Oakland after attempted car stop; officer hit but uninjured

Berkeley police pursued a driver into Oakland on Saturday night: "Just saw 10+ police cars full speed on Adeline/MLK. Some on left side of street," wrote Aya de Leon, who took this photograph.
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A driver police tried to stop near Berkeley on Saturday night “clipped” a BPD officer and left the scene, prompting a slew of officers to pursue him into East Oakland, authorities report.

As of about 8:10 p.m. the investigation was ongoing and no arrests had been made, police said. The driver had not been located.

Numerous readers asked Berkeleyside to find out why so many officers were speeding south from Berkeley into Oakland at about 6:25 p.m.

“10 Berkeley PD cruisers hauling down Market St into North Oakland just now. More coming,” wrote one local resident on Twitter. “We also saw about 10 police driving like mad at Ashby Bart,” wrote another.

“What’s going on in South Berkeley? Just saw 10+ police cars full speed on Adeline/MLK. Some on left side of street,” asked someone else.  … Continue reading »

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Police respond to gunfire reports in South Berkeley

Image: Google Maps
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Police in Berkeley received multiple reports of gunfire Friday evening, but no injuries or property damage were ultimately discovered.

Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver said there were numerous calls into the dispatch center just after 8 p.m. Friday.

“Our people responded to numerous calls of possible gunfire in the area of California and Oregon streets,” he said.  … Continue reading »

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Man pepper-sprayed after punching, biting police officers

Image: Google Maps
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A police call in Berkeley to a domestic dispute led to a man being pepper-sprayed and arrested after punching a police sergeant twice in the face and biting another officer in the arm, authorities said this week.

The woman involved in the dispute also struggled with police during the man’s arrest, and she too was taken into custody, police said.

Officers were called to the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue, near San Pablo Avenue, sometime before 10:25 p.m. Friday for a report of a domestic dispute, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel, spokesman for the Berkeley Police Department.

When they got there, officers determined the dispute had been verbal in nature, Frankel said. No crime had occurred. As officers mediated, the woman left the apartment.

But the man “was not satisfied with the officer’s response,” Frankel said, in a written statement. That “prompted him to call 911 over ten times to yell and vent his frustration. He was told by dispatch that he was improperly using the 911 emergency system, but continued calling.” … Continue reading »

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Dash cam footage ties man to Berkeley shooting attempt

Berkeley police investigate a shooting on Stanton Street. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
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An Oakland man has been charged with five felonies after a shooting attempt in broad daylight on a South Berkeley street last month, authorities report, after dash cam footage from a parked vehicle helped them crack the case.

Berkeley Police detectives arrested Ronnie Leggett, 39, early on the morning of Oct. 5 during the service of several search warrants at locations linked to him in both Oakland and another county, according to court papers.

Leggett is being held at Santa Rita Jail on $600,000 bail.

According to court papers, police believe Leggett is one of two people who got into an argument at about 9 a.m. Sept. 14 in the 2900 block of Sacramento Street, near Ashby Avenue.

During the argument, two shots were fired. Police say Leggett tried but failed to shoot the other person involved in the dispute, according to court documents. No injuries were reported.

Read more about shootings in Berkeley.

Leggett fled the scene, police said, in a green van that was caught on the dash cam of a vehicle parked on Sacramento Street at the time of the shooting. Police were able to use that video to get the van’s license plate, which they ultimately linked to Leggett.  … Continue reading »

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Man in critical condition after shooting in Southside

The shooting scene in Berkeley on Saturday night. Photo: @iZaynab
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Update, 5:50 a.m. Berkeley police issued a Nixle alert around 5:15 a.m. in which they said the shooting victim was a 35-year-old man. He is in critical condition at an Alameda County hospital. BPD reiterated that the event does not appear to be random and said the man likely had no UC Berkeley affiliation. Officers have left the crime scene but the investigation remains ongoing.

Update, 12:50 a.m. Despite word-of-mouth reports of multiple shootings late Saturday night in Berkeley, authorities say there was just one shooting, and it left a man with serious injuries.

Berkeley Police Lt. Alyson Hart said police got multiple reports of possible gunfire beginning at 11:10 p.m. in the general area of Dana and Haste streets, in the Southside neighborhood near the UC Berkeley campus.

Officers who went to the area found a man lying in the street on Haste just west of Dana. He appeared to be suffering from a gunshot wound, Hart said.

Officers rendered first aid until paramedics were able to take the man to a local hospital for treatment.

He was still alive as of about 12:50 a.m. but his injuries appeared to be serious.  … Continue reading »

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