3 teens arrested after Grizzly Peak kidnapping

The view from Grizzly Peak Boulevard near Signpost 15. Photo: Tracey Taylor
The view from Grizzly Peak Boulevard near Signpost 15. Photo: Tracey Taylor

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.”


Image: UCPD
Image: UCPD

All three have been arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, four counts of armed robbery, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of kidnapping during a carjacking, and carjacking.

According to the Alameda County sheriff’s department, Avila and Holtzclaw are set for arraignment Thursday at 2 p.m. at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland in department 112. Both are being held on $630,000 bail at Berkeley Jail.

According to earlier information released by police, the victims, a 26-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, had been sitting in their car looking out toward the bay at a dirt turn-out along Grizzly Peak Boulevard at 2 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27.

Three people, 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 money and the suspects left the area. There were no injuries during the encounter.

Police said previously that the three males may have committed similar crimes in the hills above Berkeley and Oakland late Wednesday, Nov. 26, and early on Thanksgiving.

Additional investigations and criminal charges may be pending in other jurisdictions, according to Tejada’s statement Wednesday.

Police initially announced an arrest in the case Dec. 1, but did not release the names of those said to have been arrested. Tejada said Wednesday that the release that went out reporting those arrests was not correct, and had since been updated. That Dec. 1 release was meant to communicate only that suspects had been identified, and to ask the public for help in the investigation.

Police ask anyone with information about the Grizzly Peak case or similar incidents to call UCPD’s Detective Brendan Tinney at 510-642-3658.

This story was updated slightly after publication to reflect new information from UCPD. It was also updated later in the day to correct an error: The juvenile was already in custody for another incident, and was not arrested with his co-defendants Tuesday.

Related:
More details emerge on UCPD carjacking, robbery arrests (12.22.14)
Suspects in Grizzly Peak robbery, kidnapping identified (12.01.14)
Armed robbery, kidnapping on Grizzly Peak Blvd (11.27.14)
Berkeley man, 60, falls to his death from Grizzly Peak Blvd (08.18.14)
Body of man found off Grizzly Peak Boulevard (05.18.14)
Human skull discovered near Grizzly Peak in Tilden Park (01.02.14)

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