Tag Archives: West Berkeley

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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Grumpy Cat comes to Berkeley Humane in style, fanfare

Grumpy Cat, held by her owner Tabatha Bundesen, poses with City Councilmember Linda Maio and Berkeley Chamber of Commerce CEO Polly Armstrong before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo: Seung Y. Lee
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With a police-escorted motorcade fit for a foreign ambassador or an A-list Hollywood star, viral internet star Grumpy Cat rolled into Berkeley in style Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of fans waited outside Berkeley Humane at 2700 9th St. to catch a glimpse of Grumpy Cat, who has a permanent scowl on her face and millions of fans on social media. Tucked in the arms of her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, Grumpy Cat oversaw the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Berkeley Humane’s new mobile adoption center.

Following the ceremony, Grumpy Cat held a private photo session with her fans. Tickets for an up close and personal were reserved long before Saturday. The opportunity to take a photo of Grumpy Cat — or with, for the lucky fans who registered for the photo session in time — drew residents from beyond the Bay Area. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley tells cannabis collective to shut down

Toya Groves and Chris Smith listen at the Jan. 20 city council meeting. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Even though more than 40 people testified about the importance of the Forty Acres Medical Marijuana Growers Collective to the black community, the Berkeley City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday night to declare it a public nuisance.

But the decision, which came almost four years after Berkeley officials first told its co-founder, Chris Smith, that his cannabis collective was operating illegally, may not be the last word on the operation. Lee Hepner, Smith’s attorney, said before the meeting that they would almost certainly challenge the action in court. Any legal challenge would join the three other lawsuits that Smith currently has pending against Berkeley and a number of employees.

Read more about medical marijuana issues in Berkeley.

Another possibility is for Smith to apply for the permit to open a fourth dispensary in the city. Applicants have until March 20 to declare they are interested. … Continue reading »

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Housing to replace Berkeley Grocery Outlet building

The zoning board approved a new development at 2001 Fourth St. in December. Image: Trachtenberg Architects
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A sprawling mixed-use housing complex, designed by Trachtenberg Architects, has been approved for Fourth Street and University Avenue in West Berkeley, along with about 8,500 square feet of retail the developer says he hopes could become a grocery store.

The 5-story, 152-unit complex at 2001 Fourth St. is set to include nearly 200 vehicle parking spots, as well as space for more than 80 bicycles and nine motorcycles. Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board approved the project at its Dec. 11 meeting nearly unanimously, with seven members in favor, Commissioner Igor Tregub voting against the project, and Commissioner Steven Donaldson recusing himself because he is a neighbor.

Read more about West Berkeley.

The project is slated to include 12 very-low-income units — to be distributed throughout the property — and will also pay $400,000 into the city’s Housing Trust Fund, which the city uses to help build additional affordable housing in Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley council to decide if cannabis collective must go

Chris Smith talked to a community group on Jan. 17, 2015 about why Forty Acres should not be shut down by the city of Berkeley. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Almost four years after Berkeley first informed the Forty Acres Medical Marijuana Growers’ Collective that it was operating illegally in its San Pablo Avenue location, the Berkeley City Council will consider declaring it a public nuisance tonight.

The city has been tussling with Forty Acres and its co-founder Chris Smith for so long that the agenda packet with background information is more than 1,000 pages long. Berkeleyside has created a timeline (after the jump) with some of the highlights of the fight between Forty Acres and the city of Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley first responders rescue woman from marina

A woman was rescued from the water near the Berkeley Pier on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2014. Photo: Dogen Frost
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Berkeley emergency responders rescued a woman from the water at the Berkeley Marina early in the morning on Sunday, Jan. 11.

At 5:32 a.m., Berkeley’s emergency communication center received a report of someone in the water at the Berkeley Pier yelling for help, according to Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb. Both Berkeley police and firefighters responded. … Continue reading »

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Crime

El Sobrante man killed in Berkeley shooting

The scene Tuesday on San Pablo Avenue as a city worker cleaned up after a fatal shooting. Photo: Darby Tyro
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Authorities have identified the man who was shot to death in Berkeley on Monday night as 36-year-old Kamahl Middleton of El Sobrante.

He and a 28-year-old woman were shot Monday at about 9:45 p.m. on San Pablo Avenue in a parking lot used by the 99 Cents Only store and other businesses, and adjacent to Everett & Jones Barbecue, just north of University Avenue in West Berkeley.

The woman was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man dead, woman injured after 2 shot in West Berkeley

Image: Google Maps
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Update, Dec. 30, 9:40 a.m. Berkeley police sent out an alert around 9 a.m. Tuesday to say San Pablo Avenue is open in both directions at University Avenue. They added: “BPD appreciates your patience as we conducted our investigation.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Two people were injured, and one of them has died, after a shooting Monday night in West Berkeley.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, a male and female were shot at about 9:45 p.m. Coats said the man was pronounced dead at the scene, and that she was unsure about the condition of the female, who was taken to the hospital. Coats said, as of about 10:45 p.m., she was en route to the scene to learn more from investigators.

See the update on this case, which includes the victim’s name and personal videos.

According to unconfirmed scanner traffic, the incident took place near the 99 Cents Only store at 1941 San Pablo Ave., near University Avenue, and may have begun as a robbery of medical marijuana. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man cases yoga studio, arrested after assault on officer

Image: Google Maps
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A suspicious man who went into a West Berkeley yoga studio on Sunday morning, asked about classes, then elbowed a police officer in the face who tried to detain him, has been arrested, authorities said Sunday afternoon.

Shortly before noon, the Berkeley Police Department’s Communications Center received a call from a yoga studio in the 800 block of University Avenue, around Sixth Street, said Lt. Dave Frankel, a watch commander for the Berkeley police.

The caller said a suspicious man was inside the business, CorePower Yoga at 811 University Ave. According to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, the man was walking in and out of the studio, asking about classes and about studio operations.

“The employee felt that the person was casing the business to commit a crime,” Frankel said via email.

The first responding officer arrived at the yoga studio within minutes. That officer found the man inside, and tried to detain him. But he “became combative and struck the officer in the face before running from the business.”

The officer told dispatchers over the scanner that the man “had a needle in his pocket and he struck me in the side of the head.” … Continue reading »

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Police: Man found dead in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park

Aquatic-Park
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The body of a man was found Sunday afternoon in South Aquatic Park in Berkeley.

Berkeley police said it is too soon to determine whether foul play is involved. The incident is being investigated as a suspicious death.

Read the update on this story.

Berkeley police responded Sunday, Nov. 30, to a call at 4:12 p.m. to check on the welfare of a man reportedly lying on his back, motionless, to the south side of Aquatic Park, according to a Nixle alert put out by the Berkeley Police Department at around 7 p.m. Sunday. … Continue reading »

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Crime

San Leandro man to face murder, gang charges after 2013 Berkeley killing

Photo: Krishna Ferreira, via Facebook
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A 24-year-old San Leandro man has been ordered by a judge to face charges in the murder case against him for a fatal shooting in Berkeley last year.

According to evidence presented by authorities this month in the case against Krishna Ferreira, the victim had been a member of the West Side Berkeley gang who had fallen out of favor with his comrades — and been “green lit” for punishment — when he failed to comply with the gang’s rules while he was incarcerated at Santa Rita Jail in 2012.

The victim, 24-year-old Dustin Bynum of Berkeley, was shot to death outside Bing’s Liquors in West Berkeley in August 2013.

This month, beginning Nov. 4, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara considered the case against Ferreira to determine whether the district attorney’s office had enough evidence against him for the prosecution to move forward to trial. The preliminary hearing — where authorities present their evidence and the defense has a chance to question it — ended Tuesday afternoon with a ruling from Nakahara in favor of the prosecution.

Berkeley Police Officer Stephanie Polizziani — an area coordinator, former jailer and one of the department’s two gang experts — testified over the past week that Ferreira is an active member of the West Side Berkeley gang, which is affiliated with, and answers to, the Norteño prison gang. According to Polizziani, the Norteños have handed down orders to its affiliates to “take care of their trash” — in reference to former gang members who had been “jumped out” or dropped out of active gang activities.

Polizziani said Bynum — who was known as “phatboy” on the streets — fell into this category after he failed to comply with the gang’s rules while locked up at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in 2012. Three members of the gang attacked him, and “jumped him out” of the gang. He was then removed from the housing area where other Norteños are incarcerated and moved into an area where those seeking protective custody or who are cooperating with law enforcement are placed. He was also, according to Polizziani, put on the gang’s “bad news list,” or BNL. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police search South Berkeley after Seabreeze homicide

A search warrant operation in South Berkeley woke many residents early Thursday. Photo: A citizen reporter
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Authorities conducted a warrant search in South Berkeley early Thursday that was connected to a fatal shooting last week at the Seabreeze Market.

The Berkeley Police Department put out a notice Thursday evening about the operation after receiving “several inquiries” from community members about the disturbance.

According to the statement, the operation — which had been organized and carried out by the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department — took place in the 1500 block of Harmon Street early Thursday morning.

The Seabreeze is in Berkeley but is located within Park District boundaries near University Avenue and Interstate 80, en route to the Berkeley marina. Last week’s fatal shooting took place Tuesday, Oct. 28 shortly before 8 p.m.

According to a local resident who asked to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, Thursday’s operation began shortly before 5 a.m.

“It started with 4 flash bangs in succession … then a slight pause, then one more flash bang,” he wrote, adding that he was “woken up by the noise.” (A video of those flash bangs follows.) … Continue reading »

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New Whole Foods store wake-up call for Andronico’s

Whole Foods Gilman first day in the produce section photo Neil Mishalov
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Today at 9:30 a.m. a new Whole Foods Market broke bread rather than cut a ribbon, and opened for business in the rapidly transforming Gilman shopping district in West Berkeley. The store, and the competition it represents, has been a catalyst for at least one other local grocery chain to sharpen up its act. Early reports suggest the market will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood for local residents.

An estimated 600 people took tours of the new Whole Foods store last week in the lead-up to today’s opening at its location on 10th and Gilman streets. This is the second Whole Foods store for Berkeley (the first one opened at Ashby and Telegraph in 1990), the 41st Whole Foods in Northern California, and the 401st nationwide. It will be open 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily while the Whole Foods-owned Allegro Coffee roastery in-store, its first outlet on the West Coast, will be open from 6 a.m. every day.

The 47,000-square-foot market, with 85 car parking spaces, including electric charging spots, and 12 bike spaces, is employing 200 staff, two-thirds of them from other Whole Food stores while the rest are new staff members, said outreach team leader Kristen Tantarelli. … Continue reading »

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