This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know 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. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern.
From Feb. 19-25, there were reports of four robberies, 23 burglaries, 18 assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and two sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 21 stolen vehicles, 11 disturbances and 22 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included one sex crime. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.
Thursday, Feb. 19
Three vehicles were stolen: at midnight in the 1300 block of Second Street; at 6 p.m. in the 2000 block of Ninth Street; and at 11 p.m. in the 900 block of Hearst Avenue.
There were seven home burglaries: at 7 a.m. in the 2200 block of Blake Street; at 8 a.m. in the 1800 block of 62nd Street; at 8:30 a.m. in the 2100 block of Ashby Avenue; at 10 a.m. in the 2400 block of Fulton Street; at noon in the 600 block of Santa Rosa Avenue; and at 2:05 p.m. in the 3300 block of California Street.
There were four commercial burglaries: at 2 p.m. in the 600 block of Harrison Street; at 7:30 p.m. in the 2400 block of Stuart Street; and two at 9:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Shattuck Avenue.
Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 5:15 p.m. in the 1100 block of University Avenue.
According to Berkeley Police Officer Jennifer Coats: Just before 7:30 p.m., the occupants of a vehicle yelled profanities at someone in the crosswalk outside Trader Joe’s, at 1885 University: “It appears they felt the victim wasn’t walking fast enough.” Coats said by email that “The victim engaged one of the occupants of the vehicle, by striking them.” The driver stopped and the occupants got out of the vehicle and assaulted the victim, who fell to the ground, and was struck several more times, causing minor injuries. The suspects got back into the vehicle and fled the area. One witness told Berkeleyside by email that “The first assailant got out, confronted the victim and hit him. Within seconds, if not milliseconds, the victim was fleeing west and three other males poured out of the car and grabbed him, taking him down on the west side of the pallet where they beat him.” The witness said several people were “scribbling down the license plate at which point the boys jumped into the car and sped away with difficulty and lots of honking to get into the flow of traffic. The victim tried to stand up and then collapsed.” The witness said the assailants all appeared to be under 30 years old.
There was a robbery at 11:50 p.m. at Acton and Virginia streets.
Friday, Feb. 20
Four vehicles were stolen: at 12:52 a.m. in the 700 block of Addison Street; at 4:32 a.m. in the 900 block of University; at 1 p.m. in the 1900 block of Hearst; and at 9:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Vincente Avenue. Police arrested Edward Cooper, 28, and Dameris Alcala, 52, in connection with the Addison Street incident on suspicion of vehicle theft.
Three homes were burglarized: at 9:15 a.m. in the 3200 block of Tremont Street; at 10 a.m. in the 1000 block of Keith Avenue; and at 11 p.m. in the 2500 block of Le Conte Avenue.
There was a felony assault or battery at 9:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Allston Way.
According to the BART Police, at 9:15 p.m. at the North Berkeley BART station, “A traffic stop resulted in the recovery of a loaded firearm, money, and several packages of narcotics. The driver was placed under arrest for possession of narcotics for sales. The passenger was placed under arrest for possession of a loaded firearm.” One local resident said the stop occurred at Curtis and Delaware streets.
Police handled a “second-response” call at 10:59 p.m. in the 2600 block of College Avenue.
According to a report on Facebook, a thief stole laptops and digital cameras from the Willard Middle School after-school photography program.
Saturday, Feb. 21
Police handled two “second-response” calls, at 12:11 a.m. in the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue, and at 10:35 p.m. in the 2300 block of Piedmont Avenue.
There were two home burglaries, at 7:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Spruce Street, and at 10 a.m. in the 2800 block of Mathews Street.
There was a disturbance at 12:45 p.m. at Harrison and Fifth streets.
There were a commercial burglary at 5:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Harrison.
There was a robbery at 8:45 p.m. at Center Street and Shattuck Avenue.
Berkeley police officers responded to the 1800 block of Tacoma Avenue, between Colusa Avenue and The Alameda, after a man called police and told them he had stabbed his girlfriend, had tied up her lover and was threatening to shoot him. Police swept the house, found it empty, and said the call was likely to have been a hoax. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Sunday, Feb. 22
There was a robbery at 1:54 a.m. in the 2000 block of Ward Street.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 5:52 a.m. in the 1700 block of Fourth Street; at 8 p.m. in the 2800 block of Kelsey Street; and at 9 p.m. in the 2600 block of Benvenue Avenue.
There was a felony assault or battery at 2 p.m. in the 1500 block of Harmon Street.
There were two disturbance calls, at 3:11 p.m. in the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue, and at 10:47 p.m. at Bolivar Drive and Potter Street. Police arrested Issaiah Williams, 30, in connection with the Bolivar incident on suspicion of failure to register as a sex offender.
Monday, Feb. 23
There was a misdemeanor sexual assault at midnight in the 1900 block of Allston Way.
Five vehicles were stolen: at 4:30 a.m. in the 2800 block of Kelsey Street; at 3:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of Milvia Street; at 5:30 p.m. at Hearst Avenue and Henry Street; at 6 p.m. in the 2800 block of Seventh Street; and at 6 p.m. at Jefferson Avenue and Bancroft Way.
There were two disturbance calls, at 6:40 a.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck, and at 9:30 p.m. in the 2400 block of Shattuck.
There were two home burglaries, at 9:31 a.m. in the 1600 block of Harmon, and at 10 a.m. in the 1700 block of Cedar Street.
Two men — one who had been arrested and one who had not — were charged with murder after the shooting death in December of an El Sobrante man in a West Berkeley parking lot. Read more on Berkeleyside. Our latest story on the shooting, from Feb. 27, is here. In summary, police tracked the wanted man to Washington state, and also arrested a Hayward man in the case. Three men have been charged with murder and one 17-year-old also was arrested in connection with the homicide. Berkeleyside’s complete coverage of the case is here.
A thief stole a white Cannondale 8-speed road bike worth $500 from the North Berkeley BART station between 8:10 a.m. and 6:50 p.m., according to the BART Police. The bike had been secured with a cable lock.
Tuesday, Feb. 24
There was a home burglary at 9 a.m. in the 3300 block of King Street.
There were two disturbance calls, at 1:24 a.m. in the 2500 block of Telegraph Avenue, and at 1:34 p.m. in the 800 block of Colusa Avenue.
Police responded to Oxford Street and Allston Way around 1 p.m. to investigate a suspicious package. Officers closed Oxford between Center and Kittredge streets to vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the investigation. The roadway was open by about 1:35 p.m. The package “appears to contain suspected narcotics,” according to a Nixle alert put out by the police department.
There was a misdemeanor sexual assault at 2:20 p.m. in the 1900 block of Allston Way.
A thief stole a silver-colored men’s 18-speed mountain bike that was locked to the bike racks at the North Berkeley BART station between 11:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., according to the BART Police.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 9 p.m. in the 2100 block of Byron Street, and at 9 p.m. in the 2300 block of Curtis Street.
Wednesday, Feb. 25
Four vehicles were stolen: at midnight in the 2600 block of California Street; at noon in the 2400 block of McKinley Avenue; at 3:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of Dwight Way; and at 10 p.m. in the 1200 block of Ashby.
There were three home burglaries: at 8 a.m. in the 1200 block of Haskell Street; at 9:30 a.m. in the 2100 block of Stuart Street; and at 11:30 a.m. in the 1600 block of Fairview Street.
Police are asking for the community’s help after a startled burglar grabbed a North Berkeley resident who found him inside her home in the 2300 block of Eunice Street. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There was a robbery at 11:17 a.m. in the 2600 block of Ashby.
A 26-year-old homeless man driving a van in West Berkeley struck a 63-year-old pedestrian from Hayward shortly before 1 p.m. The crash took place at San Pablo Avenue and Allston Way. The pedestrian was taken to Highland Hospital with serious injuries. Read more on Berkeleyside.
UCPD responded to a sex crime at 4:07 p.m. A 22-year-old female student was walking on Pepper Tree Lane toward Morrison Hall, according to UCPD, when she noticed a male walking toward her. When he got close, he grabbed her breast, then continued walking west. Police searched the area but could not find him. He was described as a Hispanic male, college age, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, with a medium muscular build. He had short to medium straight black hair and was clean shaven with a square jaw. He was wearing olive-colored pants with no shirt and a dark cap on backwards, and had something tied around his waist.
Police handled a call involving a gun or other weapon at 4:20 p.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck.
Police handled a disturbance at 8:15 p.m. in the 1900 block of Shattuck.
Other recent incidents
Police responded to a disturbance March 3 just after 10 p.m. that led to a call by police for emergency back-up as well as an officer crashing into two parked vehicles to avoid hitting a pedestrian, according to authorities. Berkeley Police Officer Ethell Wilson, a department spokesman, said an officer was patrolling the 1500 block of Fairview and noticed an argument that turned physical. “During his attempt to intervene one of the involved parties became combative,” Wilson said by email. “The officer had to call for immediate cover for assistance.” Other officers responded to help, and police made an arrest at the conclusion of the investigation. (Wilson did not provide the name of the person who was arrested.)
Wilson continued: “While one of our officers was responding to the request for urgent assistance, he was involved in a vehicle collision near the intersection of Fairview and Sacramento.” The officer had his lights and siren activated when, said Wilson, a pedestrian stepped in front of his vehicle. “The officer had to take evasive action to avoid hitting the pedestrian. In doing so the officer struck the raised median and two parked vehicles. The pedestrian was not struck and our officer was not injured.” Wilson said the pedestrian could not be contacted for a statement.
A resident near Regal Road and Spruce Street, in the Berkeley Hills, said March 3 that three tires on the same block have been “punctured through the sidewalls producing a minuscule slow leak with some instrument like a hypodermic needle rendering these tires irreparable.” Two of the incidents affected the same vehicle. Reports have been filed with the Berkeley Police Department.
A resident in the Claremont neighborhood reported that an intruder who broke into a home in the Uplands, on Tanglewood Avenue, in the middle of the night was apprehended. The incident took place sometime prior to Feb. 27. No further information was immediately available.
A pedestrian was taken to Highland Hospital after a vehicle struck her in Berkeley at about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26. Read more on Berkeleyside. Gremel Madolora shared the following description of the crash with Berkeleyside on Facebook: “The car involved was a Toyota Prius traveling eastbound. Elderly male driver with two grandkids in the back seat. Car sustained front end damage to the right front near bumper/hood area, large dent in hood, and entire windshield, from edge to edge was shattered, but still intact. Impact to the young woman was severe, she was thrown 50+ feet and was unconscious to first responders–other drivers and people living near that corner of Ashby and Deakin, including myself and my girlfriend. The sound impact was very loud, at first thought, a cyclist being hit or car rear-ending another. She was attended to by a nurse, a passing motorist, who kept her still and my girlfriend held her hand. She became conscious as the police/ambulance appeared. It was scary for all involved, hope she’s ok and that she and the driver can get their lives’ back. She appeared to be a Cal student.”
Many residents reported a loud boom on Thursday, Feb. 26. Police said they looked for the source but could not find it. On March 1, Sunday, one local resident said he thought he found the cause. Writing on Facebook, Jim Emerson said, “Explosive mystery solved in South Berkeley. For second night a loud boom rattled windows, vibrated floorboards and set off car alarms. This time (maybe it was about 9:30?) an orange colored, apparently homemade, fireworks rocket streaked upwards in the sky and really spooked my dog while he was attending to his evening business. It appeared to originate near Ashby and Sacramento, though it have been closer to Alacatraz.” Then, on Tuesday March 3, many residents again reported hearing what they have dubbed the #BerkeleyBoom. Berkeleyside has asked the Police Department for additional information.
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 in brief 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.
Felon to face 2012 Berkeley robbery, carjacking charges (03.03.15)
Police arrest 2 more after December homicide in Berkeley (02.27.15)
Interrupted burglar grabs woman in Berkeley home (02.27.15)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 12-18 (02.25.15)
Berkeley 911: Pedestrian taken to Highland after crash; callers report loud boom, too (02.26.15)
Berkeley council refers community policing package to city manager (02.25.15)
Update: Pedestrian hit by van in West Berkeley (02.25.15)
2 men charged after fatal Berkeley shooting (02.23.15)
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