Tag Archives: Berkeley robberies

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 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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Crime

‘Pizza delivery’ police nab armed robbers in Berkeley

Authorities say the robbers used a stolen credit card to order pizza, which tipped police to their location, and ultimately led to their arrest and the recovery of a handgun. Photo: Kris Vera-Phillips
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Police officers pretending to be pizza deliverers captured three people linked to an armed robbery early Monday morning in North Berkeley.

Authorities say the robbers used a stolen credit card to order pizza, which tipped police to their location, and ultimately led to their arrest and the recovery of a handgun.

According to Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, the robbery took place just after 1 a.m. when two people with a gun robbed a pedestrian of his backpack at Acton and Delaware streets near the North Berkeley BART station. … Continue reading »

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Police search for 2 after dorm room robbery in Berkeley

Clark Kerr Campus. Photo: UC Berkeley
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Police are looking for two young men they say convinced a UC Berkeley student in his dorm room to make a call for them, then stole his phone while threatening to have a gun.

According to police, the robbery took place early Sunday, just before 12:20 a.m.

Police said the student was in his room at the Clark Kerr Campus of UC Berkeley, at 2601 Warring St., when he heard loud knocking on the door of his suite.

He opened the door and found two young strangers outside, the University of California Police Department wrote in a prepared statement. They asked the student to make a call for them on his phone. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police arrest armed felon with robbery warrant

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Police arrested an armed man in South Berkeley earlier this month who was wanted in connection with one robbery, and on probation for another.

On Sept. 14, Berkeley Police Officer Derek Radey was on patrol near 67th and Mabel streets, not far from San Pablo Avenue, when he happened upon a green Ford without license plates that was parked in the middle of the road, according to court papers.

Radey spoke with the driver, who identified himself as 28-year-old Keith Davis Jr. of Berkeley.

Davis had an active felony warrant for robbery and another warrant for domestic violence. He also was on probation for robbery, which allowed police to search him.  … Continue reading »

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4 arrested Saturday in 2 robberies near UC Berkeley

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Four men were arrested Saturday after two robberies near the UC Berkeley campus in the early morning hours, police said.

The University of California Police Department put out statements Tuesday about the incidents and arrests, which took place within the city of Berkeley’s jurisdiction.

Just after 1:30 a.m. Saturday, police said a 19-year-old woman was walking with friends near Bowditch Street and Bancroft Way when three young men approached.

They started “verbally harassing her and her friends,” police said in a prepared statement. “The group surrounded the victim, called her names, spit on and kicked her.” … Continue reading »

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