Tag Archives: Berkeley robberies

Crime

Robbers caught after police chase through Berkeley

Police recovered this vehicle after a robbery and chase Friday. Photo: Citizen reporter
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Update, May 13: Police have released the names of the three people arrested in this incident. A male suspect is still at-large. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats identified the three as Kenneth De Arman, 18, of Oakland, Kameron Caine, 18, of Berkeley and a 17-year-old girl from Oakland. They were arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest and being an accessory to a felony. De Arman also was arrested on suspicion of robbery and hit and run.

Original story, May 11: Police detained three people, but are still looking for a fourth, after a robbery near Berkeley High School on Friday afternoon.

According to Berkeley Police Officer Jennifer Coats, department spokeswoman, police responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery near Bancroft Way and McKinley Street on Friday just after 3:45 p.m.

The suspects left the scene in a red sedan, but an officer spotted the car leaving, and followed it.

The occupants led police on a chase through town, but ultimately stopped on Acton Street north of Carleton Street in South Berkeley, then fled on foot.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley neighbors help catch 4 teens in dramatic effort after strong-arm robbery

Brookside Avenue. Photo: Google StreetView
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Alert residents worked together Sunday afternoon to help catch four Oakland teens police say robbed an 18-year-old woman on Brookside Avenue in Berkeley’s Claremont neighborhood.

The dramatic incident occurred May 3 at around 12:30 p.m. and resulted in the arrest of four girls: three 16-year-olds and one 14-year-old, according to the Berkeley Police Department.

It began when a driver on Brookside witnessed a young woman being accosted by two teens on the corner of Brookside and Claremont avenues.

The 18-year-old was approached from behind by two people who grabbed her phone and started to open her backpack, said police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats. The woman struggled over the phone with one of the robbers, then another of them struck her, Coats said. During the struggle, one of the teens grabbed a necklace from the woman, and another took her wallet from her backpack. The group fled to a waiting vehicle.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Police catch 2 armed robbery suspects after high-speed chase through Berkeley, Emeryville

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The high-speed chase ended in Emeryville, near Powell Street Plaza, where the two suspects were eventually apprehended, according to Officer Jennifer Coats, spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department.

Coats said the armed robbery happened at Arch and Virginia streets one block north of the UC Berkeley campus at 8:42 p.m. Coats said it was most likely a pedestrian robbery, although she wanted to confirm that.

A police officer saw two suspects fleeing in a vehicle and, when the officer tried to pull the car over, the suspects fled and evaded the police, according to Coats.

After several police cars had pursued the suspects for awhile, the suspect’s vehicle became disabled near the I-80 off-ramp near Powell Street, Coats said. … Continue reading »

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Crime

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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Felon to face 2012 Berkeley robbery, carjacking charges

Image: Google maps
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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 link Berkeley felon to 6 gas station robberies

Police linked a Berkeley man to six gas station robberies in 2013 and 2014. The Alameda County district attorney's office has charge him in connection with two. Image: Google maps
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A Berkeley man police tied to six gas station robberies along University Avenue in 2013 and 2014 is heading to prison after entering a guilty plea for one count of felony second-degree robbery.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office initially charged Alphonzo McInnis, 23, with three felony counts of second-degree robbery in connection with two incidents in October, and misdemeanor grand theft due to a stolen credit card that was used after one of them.

According to the district attorney’s office, McInnis pleaded guilty Jan. 28 to second-degree robbery, and will serve time in state prison as a result. McInnis attended Berkeley High School, according to his Facebook page.

In court papers, Berkeley Police Officer Mike Parsons wrote that he was convinced McInnis was the culprit in two robberies in Berkeley — on Oct. 3, at Chevron, and Oct. 29, at the Econo Gas station — despite the fact that he had covered his face during the incidents.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Pair arrested in Berkeley after armed robbery spree

Police arrested two men on suspicion of robbery during a vehicle stop in South Berkeley on Friday. Photo: Yvonne Paytosh
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Police have arrested two men they say confessed to three armed robberies — at two Berkeley convenience stores and an El Cerrito fast food shop — over a period of about 10 hours Friday.

One of the men told police he was responsible for two other armed robberies in Alameda County on Jan. 31, according to court papers.

Following a report of Friday’s third robbery, a Berkeley police officer spotted the gold van the men were reported to have been driving, and pulled them over to make the arrest. The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged the pair Monday with four counts of second-degree robbery in connection with the Feb. 6 incidents.

According to court papers, 25-year-old David Tafel and 57-year-old Elmore Shivers robbed the 7-11 at 2887 College Ave. (at Russell Street) at 1:35 a.m. Friday. Video surveillance showed a man entering the store and brandishing a gun at the cashier behind the counter. The gunman was followed inside by a second man, who put a plastic bag on the counter. The man with the gun can be seen, police wrote, pointing the gun at the clerk, who hands over the cash. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police ask for help to find suspect after iPhone robbery of elderly man (video)

Police are asking for help to find a man responsible for a robbery in December. Image: BPD
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The Berkeley Police Department is asking the community for help to find a man who robbed an elderly shopper of his brand new iPhone on Fourth Street the day after Christmas.

According to a statement released by police Thursday, an 83-year-old man was walking with a family member on Fourth near Hearst Avenue shortly after 1 p.m. Dec. 26 when the strong-arm robbery took place.

“They had just left the Apple store after purchasing a new iPhone,” police said in the statement. “The suspect followed the victim, and then forcibly took the iPhone … injuring him in the process.”

Police released a video of the robbery, and shared it with the media Thursday. It appears below. … Continue reading »

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After ordering pizza with stolen card, teen charged with 4 armed robberies in Berkeley

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An 18-year-old man arrested in November — after authorities found him by tracking a stolen debit card used to order pizza — has been charged with four armed robberies near the North Berkeley BART station that took place last fall.

Police arrested Berkeley resident Marcell Stargetti along with two juveniles Nov. 24 after an armed robbery at Acton and Delaware streets at about 1 a.m. Police said they located the robbers after they used one of the debit cards they had stolen to order pizza. Officers intercepted the order and pretended to deliver the pizza to make the arrests.

According to court papers, police linked Stargetti to three other armed robberies in the area — on Sept. 13, Sept. 19 and Nov. 23 — using items found during a subsequent search of a home nearby, also in the 1300 block of Delaware Street. Police said they found an unloaded firearm, as well as “various stolen items … in the toilet tank.” Police also reported the discovery of ID cards, credit or debit cards and other suspected stolen items. … Continue reading »

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Crime

More details emerge on UCPD carjacking, robbery arrests

The view from Grizzly Peak Boulevard near Signpost 15. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Three Concord teenagers alleged to have kidnapped and carjacked a couple on Grizzly Peak Boulevard on Thanksgiving Day have been charged with 11 felonies in connection with robberies in Oakland and Walnut Creek on Nov. 27.

Authorities said they also matched the description, and were linked by surveillance footage and a license plate, to a robbery and attempted robbery in Lafayette that same day.

Police investigators said the crew first carjacked a couple on Grizzly Peak, and forced them to drive to an ATM in Walnut Creek to withdraw cash. Afterward, the group is alleged to have robbed another couple on Grizzly Peak, pistol whipping one victim and stealing a container of coins and other property.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office has identified the teens as Jose Avila and Brenton Holtzclaw, both 18, and Ricardo Padilla, 17. (Padilla’s name was not released previously by police because he is a minor, but he is being charged as an adult and his name appears alongside those of his co-defendants on court documents.) The charges — of second-degree robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery, kidnapping for carjacking, carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon — involve five separate victims. … Continue reading »

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Crime

3 teens arrested after Grizzly Peak kidnapping

The view from Grizzly Peak Boulevard near Signpost 15. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Police have arrested three Concord teenagers in connection with the Thanksgiving Day kidnapping, carjacking and armed robbery of two people on Grizzly Peak Boulevard, authorities have announced.

Taken into custody Tuesday were 18-year-olds Jose Avila and Brenton Holtzclaw. A 17-year-old male from Concord linked to the case was already in custody for a different matter, and will be prosecuted as an adult, police said. His name was not released, however, because he is a minor.

Read more details about the case in this Berkeleyside update.

Said University of California Police Department spokesman Lt. Eric Tejada in a prepared statement: “This investigation was successful thanks to assistance from several law enforcement agencies including the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and police departments of the City of Concord, City of Pleasant Hill and City of Oakland.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Suspects in Grizzly Peak robbery, kidnapping identified

Moon crescent over Emeryville by Ira Serkes. Photo taken Nov. 23, 2014
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Update, Dec. 17: UCPD spokesman Lt. Eric Tejada said the initial release that went out saying three people had been arrested in this case had been wrong, and has since been corrected. The release posted online now reads that three people were identified in the case Dec. 1.

“This investigation is ongoing, but three suspects have been identified. There is reason to believe that these suspects committed similar additional crimes in the hills above Berkeley & Oakland on the night of Wednesday, November 26th / early morning of Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Day). We are asking for any additional victims or witnesses to please contact the UC Berkeley Police Department or their own local police department to make a report as soon as possible.”

UCPD sends out crime alerts by email, but never sent out a corrected news release.

The department announced Dec. 17 that arrests were made Tuesday. Read more on Berkeleyside.

The headline and story below have now been corrected to reflect the accurate information. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Armed robbery, kidnapping on Grizzly Peak Blvd

The view from Grizzly Peak Boulevard near Signpost 15. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Three men armed with handguns and a baseball bat kidnapped and robbed a man and a woman at a dirt turn-out along Grizzly Peak Boulevard at 2 a.m. today.

The two victims, a 26-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, were sitting in their car looking out toward the bay. Three suspects, two armed with handguns and one with a baseball bat, approached them and demanded money. The victims had no money on them, so one suspect entered their car and demanded that they drive to an ATM. The other suspects followed in their car.

At the ATM, the victims provided the suspects with the money and the suspects left the area. There were no injuries during the encounter. … Continue reading »

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