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.
During an interview with police, Stargetti admitted to being involved in all four cases, according to court papers, though he said he only used a gun in one of them. (Victims in two of the cases identified Stargetti as the gunman, according to police.)
On Sept. 13, two males with a gun stole ID and credit or debit cards from a man at Acton Street and Berkeley Way at about 11:35 p.m. Less than a week later, on Sept. 19, two males with a gun stole similar property from a man at Delaware and Acton streets, about two blocks away, at 10:40 p.m.
The robberies picked up again in November, according to court papers. A man told police he was robbed Nov. 23 at Hearst Avenue and Acton at 11:30 p.m. by two males with a gun; he later identified Stargetti to police as one of the robbers. The fourth robbery, which preceded the pizza delivery, took place less than two hours later at Acton and Delaware when two people with a gun robbed a pedestrian of his backpack.
Stargetti — who turned 18 in early November — was the only adult charged in the cases, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department. No information was available regarding whether cases were pursued against the arrested juveniles due to privacy laws protecting minors.
Stargetti has been charged with four counts of felony second-degree robbery, while armed with a firearm, by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.
He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin with a bail of $450,000, and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Tuesday.
Read more about robberies in Berkeley.
‘Pizza delivery’ police nab armed robbers in Berkeley (11.24.14)
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