Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Nov. 20-26

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.

This is an overview of recent crime in Berkeley, exclusively compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Nov. 20-26, there were reports of 27 burglaries, 28 auto break-ins or thefts from vehiclesnine stolen vehicles and 17 disturbances, according to CrimeMapping.com. Eleven robberies13 assaults or batteries, no weapon-related calls and two sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included an arson, three burglaries, a sex crime and a weapon-related call. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

Please do not hesitate to share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch.

Thursday, Nov. 20


There were five home burglaries: at 2:17 a.m. in the 2100 block of Russell Street; at 5:30 a.m. in the 2600 block of Regent Street; at 8 a.m. in the 900 block of Creston Road; at 8:15 a.m. in the 1300 block of Derby Street; and at 5:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Sacramento Street. Police arrested Jason Wells, 41, in connection with the Russell Street incident on suspicion of second-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools and committing a felony while on bail, along with other violations.

There were three commercial burglaries: at 3 a.m. in the 2900 block of Telegraph Avenue; at 4:05 a.m. in the 2900 block of College Avenue; and at 11:22 a.m. in the 1800 block of University Avenue.

Police responded to three disturbance calls: at 11:35 a.m. in the 1800 block of San Pablo Avenue; at 3:40 p.m. in the 2500 block of Telegraph Avenue; and at 9:08 p.m. in the 2600 block of San Pablo Avenue.

A vehicle was reported stolen at 11:50 a.m. in the 700 block of University.

Police arrested John Williams, 33, at noon on a warrant for second-degree robbery from a Berkeley case earlier in the year. Williams was arrested in Richmond.


There were three robberies: at 3:56 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph; at 5:23 p.m. at California Street and Dwight Way; and at 5:55 p.m. at Addison and Browning streets.

There was a felony sexual assault at 5 p.m. in the 2000 block of Kittredge Street.

There were 27 burglaries (shown in black) reported over this period, via CrimeMapping.com. The prior week there were 16. There were also 11 robberies (shown in blue), following six the prior week. Click the map for a list of both.
There were 27 burglaries (shown in black) reported over this period, via CrimeMapping.com. The prior week there were 16. There were also 11 robberies (shown in blue), following six the prior week. Click the map for a list of both.

Friday, Nov. 21

Police responded to three disturbance calls: at 3:34 a.m. in the 2400 block of Virginia Street; at 2:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Milvia Street; and at 10:20 p.m. in the 2900 block of Ninth Street.

There was a vice call at 9 a.m. in the 2400 block of Dwight Way.


Five vehicles were stolen: at 1 p.m. in the 1500 block of Bonita Avenue; at 6 p.m. at Bonar Street and Bancroft Way; at 10 p.m. in the 1200 block of Haskell Street; at 10 p.m. at Stuart and California streets; and at 10 p.m. in the 1200 block of Colusa Avenue.

There was a home burglary at 6:05 p.m. in the 1400 block of Blake Street.

There were two robberies, at 7:05 p.m. in the 1300 block of Delaware Street, and at 10 p.m. at Hearst Avenue and Acton Street.

Saturday, Nov. 22

Four homes were burglarized: at 7:20 a.m. in the 1000 block of Overlook Road; at 1 p.m. in the 1700 block of Virginia Street; at 1 p.m. in the 1600 block of Edith Street; and at 4:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of California Street.

A vehicle was stolen at 3:30 p.m. in the 100 block of Spinnaker Way.

There was a disturbance at 4 p.m. in the 2400 block of Warring Street.


There were 28 thefts or burglaries from vehicles reported on CrimeMapping. There were 33 the prior week. There were also nine vehicles stolen (shown in purple). Click the map for a list of incidents.
There were 28 thefts or burglaries from vehicles reported on CrimeMapping. There were 33 the prior week. There were also nine vehicles stolen (shown in purple). Click the map for a list of incidents.

Sunday, Nov. 23

There were four robberies: at 1:19 a.m. in the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue; at 4:48 p.m. in the 1400 block of Sixth Street; at 5:40 p.m. at Russell and Acton streets; and at 11:30 p.m. at Hearst Avenue and Acton. Police arrested 27-year-old Candace Christian on suspicion of second-degree robbery in connection with the Telegraph Avenue incident.

There was a home burglary at 4 a.m. in the 1600 block of Francisco Street, and at 7:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Carrison Street.

There was a felony sexual assault at 6:30 a.m. in the 2600 block of Dwight Way.

There were two disturbance calls, at 10:46 a.m. in the 2600 block of San Pablo Avenue, and at 3:47 p.m. in the 2400 block of Telegraph Avenue.

According to the University of California Police Department, there was a burglary at the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF) at 1:07 p.m.

Authorities arrested a man at the Ashby BART station who resisted police during a detention related to his failure to register as a sex offender, according to the BART Police. At 5 p.m., officers were performing a welfare check on the man when they learned he was out of compliance with his required registration. They tried to arrest him and he resisted, leading to a struggle in which officers and the man received minor abrasions. Using force, officers were able to detain him. He was booked into the county jail on suspicion of the above offenses.

Police arrested 38-year-old Alison Hash in connection with an identity theft case reported at 6:22 p.m. in the 200 block of Marina Drive.

Police handled a “second response” call at 7:31 p.m. in the 1500 block of Tyler Street.

Monday, Nov. 24

There was a robbery at 1:05 a.m. at Acton and Berkeley Way. Police officers pretending to be pizza deliverers captured three people linked to the armed robbery. Read more on Berkeleyside.

There were six home burglaries: at 8:15 a.m. in the 1700 block of Oxford Street; at 9:15 a.m. in the 3100 block of College Avenue; at 9:55 a.m. in the 2000 block of University Avenue; at 11:50 a.m. in the 1700 block of Spruce Street; at 3 p.m. in the 2600 block of Benvenue Avenue; and at 8 p.m. in the 3100 block of College Avenue.

There was a disturbance at 11:50 a.m. in the 1800 block of Francisco Street.

There were two commercial burglaries, at 1:15 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph Avenue, and at 8 p.m. in the 1700 block of Solano Avenue.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., UCPD said a sexual battery occurred in the Griffiths residence hall in Unit 2, at 2650 Haste St. An 18-year-old female student was followed into the building by a man in his 20s. The man followed the woman into a stairwell, reached under her skirt and grabbed her buttocks, according to authorities. He then fled the building. Police searched the area but could not find the man, who was described as black, 6 feet tall with a thin to medium build and medium-length dreadlocks. He was wearing a red bandana, a dark hooded sweatshirt and pants, with tattered sneakers.

Police responded to a report of a collision between a cyclist and vehicle at 7:05 p.m. at Hearst and Shattuck. The cyclist was taken to the hospital for medical treatment. No further information was available.

The BART Police received a report of a stolen men’s black Public brand road bike valued at $800. The bike was stolen between 8:15 a.m. and 10 p.m., and had been U-locked at the North Berkeley BART station.

A breakdown of the most serious crimes reported by day of the week from Nov. 20-26. (Please note: The days of the week are not shown chronologically.) Image: CrimeMapping.com
A breakdown of the most serious crimes reported by day of the week from Nov. 20-26. (Please note: The days of the week are not shown chronologically.) Image: CrimeMapping.com

Tuesday, Nov. 25

There was a disturbance at 10:30 a.m. at Shattuck and University avenues, and at 7:35 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph.

UCPD received a report of an incident involving a weapon at 5:39 p.m. in the Griffiths residence hall, at 2650 Haste St., in a co-ed restroom. Police arrested 21-year-old Cole Francisco on suspicion of carrying a loaded, concealed firearm, trespassing and bringing a loaded firearm onto campus. Berkeleyside has requested additional information from UCPD.

There was a robbery at 6:11 p.m. in the 1600 block of Prince Street.

Authorities responded to the downtown Berkeley BART station shortly before 7 p.m. for a fatality in the station involving a person on the tracks. Read more on Berkeleyside.

A business was burglarized at 7:20 p.m. in the 1200 block of Fourth Street.

A vehicle was stolen at 10 p.m. from the 2800 block of Acton Street.

Wednesday, Nov. 26

There were three disturbance calls: at 4:45 a.m. at Shattuck Avenue and Addison Street; at 8:55 a.m. in the 1800 block of San Pablo Avenue; and at 11:18 a.m. in the 1700 block of San Pablo Avenue.

A vehicle was stolen at 9:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of Henry Street.

At 2 p.m., police arrested Jason Benson, a 38-year-old painter from Berkeley, on a warrant for second-degree burglary related to a city of Berkeley case from earlier in the year. He remains in custody with a bail of $90,000 at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. He is scheduled for an attorney and plea hearing Dec. 2.

There were two home burglaries, at 2:25 p.m. in the 1700 block of Blake Street, and at 4 p.m. in the 2200 block of Derby Street.

A teal green 1993 Honda Accord was stolen from the Ashby BART station while it was parked between about 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

A business was burglarized at 6 p.m. in the 1400 block of Shattuck.

Authorities responded to an arson call at 7:23 p.m. in the 2500 block of Telegraph.

Other recent incidents

"Persons of interest" in Oakland Hills homicide. Images: EBRPD
Police say these men are “persons of interest” in the Oakland Hills homicide. (Click the image to view it larger.) Images: EBRPD Police

Police are looking for help to identify two men linked to the shooting death of 60-year-old David Ruenzel on the afternoon of Nov. 25, and have offered a $10,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest. Authorities say Ruenzel was “gunned down on a hiking trail at the Huckleberry Regional Preserve,” in the Oakland Hills near Skyline Boulevard. Authorities say they believe the shooting may have resulted from a robbery. No suspects have been identified, but the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department has released descriptions of two men in the area just prior to the shooting. They have been identified as persons of interest. One was described as black or mixed-race, in his late 20s or early 30s with dreadlocks, a medium complexion and high cheek bones, a narrow face, thin build and was wearing dark clothing. The other was described as black, about 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, clean shaven and stocky with short hair, and wearing a black backpack. He was also described as “out of shape and overly friendly.” Authorities described Ruenzel as a “longtime talented writer, editor and beloved English teacher.” Police ask anyone with information about either man shown in the drawings above to call Park District police at 510-690-6549.

Damarco Thomas. Photo: Damarco Thomas/Facebook
Damarco Thomas. Photo: FB

The East Bay Regional Park District Police Department is also seeking help from the community to identify a man believed to have killed 21-year-old Damarco Thomas of Stockton in Berkeley on Oct. 28. Police are looking for information related to a white Ford- or Chevy-style pick-up with an extended cab, possibly a side-step model. Investigators are also trying to identify a heavyset black man in his late 20s or early 30s who was in the area prior to the shooting. Police ask anyone with information to call 510-690-6549. Read more on Berkeleyside.

A 23-year-old man arrested in connection with a shooting in Berkeley earlier this year was killed in Oakland in November. Authorities say Donzale Mejia was shot multiple times in a parking lot in Mosswood Park in North Oakland on Nov. 19. Police are looking for someone who fled the scene in a pick-up truck, according to media reports. Mejia was arrested in Berkeley in June after a shoot-out earlier that month that injured two people. He later was released without charges, but was also arrested in South Berkeley in September for a weapon-related offense.

Haas Pavilion vandalism suspects. Image: UCPD
Haas Pavilion vandalism and theft suspects. Image: UCPD

UCPD is asking for help to identify two people linked to a vandalism and theft at Haas Pavilion on Nov. 16. Police said Tuesday, Dec. 2, that video surveillance captured images of two suspects at 2:25 a.m. checking for unlocked doors: “The suspects removed a fire extinguisher from the wall and emptied its contents on the main event floor. They then dropped the extinguisher damaging the wooden floor. The suspects stole two video cameras, UC credentials and a scarf and were seen wearing these items by the video camera.” Police ask anyone with information about this or other crimes on campus to “notify UCPD without delay.” For additional information or questions, contact Detective Harry Bennigson in the University of California Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau at 510-642-4909. UCPD can be reached at all times by phone at 510-642-6760.

See the Berkeley Police Department’s crime reports on CrimeMapping.com. See the list of calls to UC Police at Berkeley, which are also posted on CrimeMapping. See also Local Crime News’ regularly published list of arrests of Berkeley residents. Other sources of information on crime in Berkeley include the Police Department’s CrimeView Community and CrimeMapping.com. The Berkeley Police Department also posts “calls for service” spreadsheets — containing more data — online for those who would like to see more. New reports may be added to CrimeMapping in an unpredictable manner, so numbers may increase in the days after this report. This post does not reflect every call. See recent Berkeley crime blotters here.

Related:
Suspects in Grizzly Peak robbery, kidnapping arrested (12.01.14)
Police: Man found dead in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park (11.30.14)
Armed robbery, kidnapping on Grizzly Peak Blvd (11.27.14)
Ferguson decision prompts thoughts written in chalk at elementary school (11.26.14)
Downtown Berkeley BART reopens after fatality (11.25.14)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Nov. 13-19 (11.25.14)

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Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.