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 March 26 to April 1, there were reports of seven robberies, 18 burglaries, nine assaults or batteries, five weapon-involved calls and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 11 stolen vehicles, nine disturbances and 33 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included three incidents of vandalism. 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, March 26
One vehicle was stolen, at 2 a.m. in the 2100 block of Haste Street.
There were two home burglaries, at 5 a.m. in the 2400 block of Dwight Way, and at 8 a.m. in the 900 block of Page Street. (Read more about the increase this year in home burglaries in a recent Berkeleyside story.)
There were two gun- or other weapon-involved calls, at 7:49 a.m. in the 200 block of University Avenue, and at 7:26 p.m. at Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue. In the second incident, police arrested Courtney Porter, 24, of Vallejo and Simone Robinson, 23, of American Canyon after a traffic stop resulted in the discovery of a loaded, unregistered black handgun and suspected cocaine packaged for sale, according to court documents. Porter has been charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. The pair has been charged with cocaine sales, possession of cocaine while armed with a firearm, and the manufacture or sale of a large-capacity magazine; according to police, the handgun found in the vehicle had an extended magazine, as well as a bullet in the chamber. Robinson is no longer in custody, but Porter remains at Santa Rita Jail without bail. The pair is scheduled for further pre-trial April 16. Porter is not eligible for bail because he is a parolee.
Berkeley Police officers arrested a man found in a stolen truck at the Berkeley marina who authorities say tried to kill his 86-year-old mother in Stockton in March in a brutal assault. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There was a disturbance at 10 a.m. in the 1500 block of Derby Street.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 11:45 a.m. in the 1300 block of Fourth Street, and at 7 p.m. in the 3000 block of Telegraph Avenue.
A Berkeley High School student was suspended after stabbing a fellow student in the back. The incident happened off campus during the lunch period near Milvia Street and University Avenue. The BHS senior who was injured sustained a non-life-threatening knife wound. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There was a felony assault or battery at 3:15 p.m. in the 2500 block of Durant Avenue.
There were two robberies, at 2:02 p.m. at Acton and Carleton streets, and at 3:20 p.m. at Carleton and Milvia streets.
Friday, March 27
There were two home burglaries, at 12:01 a.m. in the 1100 block of High Court, and at 9 a.m. in the 2400 block of Dwight Way.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 1:43 a.m. at California and Stuart streets.
A vehicle was stolen at 2 a.m. in the 2400 block of Dana Street.
There were four disturbance calls: at 8:30 a.m. in the 2900 block of Domingo Avenue; at 9:21 a.m. in the 1900 block of Allston Way; at 10:23 a.m. in the 900 block of Delaware Street; and at 9:49 p.m. at Bancroft Way and San Pablo Avenue.
From the BART Police: A records check on a person detained on suspicion of public intoxication at the downtown Berkeley BART station at about 7:15 p.m. revealed an outstanding $2,500 arrest warrant out of Berkeley for theft. The subject was placed under arrest for the warrant and public intoxication. No further information was provided.
Saturday, March 28
A records check on a person detained for trespassing on the trackway at 12:48 a.m. at the Ashby BART station revealed an active stay away order from the station. The man arrested on suspicion of trespassing and violation of a court order. Officers also found the man to be in possession of a crack pipe, according to the BART Police, who did not provide the man’s name. There was no delay in service.
There was a commercial burglary at 2 a.m. in the 3200 block of Adeline Street.
There was a felony assault or battery at 2:45 a.m. at Durant Avenue and Bowditch Street.
There was a robbery at 10:40 a.m. in the 1400 block of Shattuck Avenue. Police arrested George Guidry, 59, on suspicion of robbery and parole violation. He remains in custody without bail.
BART officers were dispatched to a report of a man who was “seated upside down and twitching and moaning” at the Ashby BART station shortly before noon. Officers detained the man and found him to have a $20,000 misdemeanor warrant out for his arrest, charging possession of stolen property, from the San Mateo County sheriff’s office. The man also had suspected narcotics in his possession, police said. He was arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail. His name was not provided in the BART statement about this incident.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 5 p.m. in the 2900 block of Carleton Street; at 6:30 p.m. in the 900 block of Virginia Street; and at 7 p.m. at 62nd and California streets.
Just before 10 p.m., officers responded to a report of an auto burglary at the Berkeley marina. According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, “The victim reported having his backpack stolen which contained an iPhone, a laptop and two iPads.” Officers were able to track the phone, and located a suspect who was in possession of some of the property, though other items seemed to have been discarded already. That person was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, and the property was returned to the owner. The name of the person arrested was not provided by Coats.
There was a home burglary at 11 p.m. in the 700 block of Gilman Street.
Sunday, March 29
Police handled a call involving a gun or other weapon at 12:18 a.m. in the 1700 block of Fourth Street.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 1:13 a.m. in the 1900 block of Ward Street, and at 5:35 a.m. in the 2800 block of Seventh Street.
There were two home burglaries, at 8:15 a.m. in the 1900 block of 10th Street, and at 2 p.m. in the 2300 block of Ward Street.
There was a disturbance at 11:55 a.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue. Police arrested 55-year-old Ashtiani Tolovee of Berkeley on suspicion of making criminal threats. He is no longer in custody but is scheduled for an attorney and plea hearing April 16. He has been charged with making criminal threats, a felony, and was released on an $80,000 bond.
There were two robberies, at 5:25 p.m. at Adeline and Alcatraz Avenue, and at 9:50 p.m. at Cedar and Chestnut streets.
A vehicle was stolen at 8 p.m. in the 2900 block of California Street.
Monday, March 30
There were three home burglaries: at 1:05 a.m. in the 1600 block of University Avenue; at 11:15 a.m. in the 2800 block of Webster Street; and at 6 p.m. in the 1600 block of 62nd Street.
There was a robbery at 3:23 p.m. in the 2500 block of Webster.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 4:37 p.m. in the 900 block of Heinz Avenue, and at 6:30 p.m. in the 2100 block of Channing Way.
Tuesday, March 31
There were three disturbance calls: at 10:34 a.m. in the 2900 block of Channing Way; at 12:23 p.m. in the 1700 block of Addison Street; and at 8:49 p.m. at California and Tyler streets.
There was a commercial burglary at 11:10 a.m. in the 2900 block of College Avenue.
There were two home burglaries, at 11:49 a.m. in the 2300 block of Curtis Street, and at 11:13 p.m. in the 2000 block of Bancroft Way.
There was a robbery at 10:10 p.m. at Telegraph Avenue and Dwight Way.
Wednesday, April 1
Police responded to a report of a crash involving a bicycle and a car at 10th and Jones streets shortly before 8 a.m., according to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats. The bicyclist was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, but no further information was immediately available.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 8 a.m. at Delaware and Milvia streets; at 1:37 p.m. in the 2000 block of Oxford Street; and at 10 p.m. at 10th and Delaware streets.
There was a felony assault or battery at 4:05 p.m. at Bolivar Drive and Potter Street.
There was a gun- or other weapon-involved call at 6:08 p.m. at Channing Way and Seventh Street.
Berkeley police serving a search warrant at two homes linked to an Oakland felon turned up more than 1,500 Xanax and Viagra pills packaged for sale, along with marijuana and methamphetamine, and several firearms. Police ultimately arrested 32-year-old Kaechan Saechao after discovering those items during the April 1 searches. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Other recent incidents
There were two strong-arm robberies April 8, at Warring and Parker streets, and at Parker and College Avenue. According to a statement released by UCPD, police responded at 12:42 a.m. to Parker and College after a male walking saw four males coming toward him. One of them punched him in the face while others went through his pockets. They took his cellphone and wallet, and he suffered minor injuries. Officers were unable to find the robbers. One was described as a 19-year-old black man, 5 feet 7 inches tall, who was wearing a blue or gray sweatshirt. No description was provided for the other males, except that they appeared to be black. UCPD responded to the other incident, at 12:48 a.m. A 19-year-old student had been walking when four males approached him and demanded his cellphone. The student complied and the suspects left the area with his phone. One of the robbers was a black male, 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10 inches tall and 165 pounds, who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The others males also were black, and looked to be 19 years old and about the same height and weight as the first man. They were also wearing black hooded sweatshirts and had cropped haircuts. Authorities ask anyone with information about these robberies to call the Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5900.
On April 4 at 4:45 p.m., the BART Police responded to the downtown Berkeley BART station for a report of a man who was creating a disturbance inside. The man “confronted members of a religious group handing out information and threw their literature to the ground.” He was described as a white man in his 20s, with a thin build and long blond hair, and was wearing a plaid shirt. (Police said that description also matched a person linked to an earlier disturbance call at the North Berkeley BART station.) Patrons reported that the man exited the station to Shattuck Avenue and officers located the person they believed to be him in the plaza above the station. “An officer observed the man confront a male citizen on the street and back the man into a bus shelter. Officers detained the man, who became physically resistive.” Officers were eventually able to secure the suspect using a restraint device called a WRAP. The citizen on the street reported that the man had threatened to hurt him, and demanded his money. The man was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery and resisting arrest and was booked at Glenn Dyer Jail. BART did not provide his name.
On April 4 at 8:30 a.m., according to the BART Police, the manager of Peet’s Coffee inside the downtown Berkeley BART station called to report that the store had been burglarized: “The gate was damaged and $12 worth of cookies taken.” A review of surveillance video showed that the suspect — who appeared to be a black man in his 20s or 30s, 5 feet 9 inches tall with a medium build and dark hoodie — had forced open the gate with his hands at 7:55 p.m. the prior day. “He then reached in and took the cookies.” The scene was processed by a BART officer who was able to retrieve a copy of the surveillance video. No further information was provided.
According to Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong, firefighters clearing a medical call discovered a fire at 1100 Francisco Street on March 20. Said Dong, “the cause of the fire is undetermined.… The damage caused approximately $22,500 in loss to property and contents. The fire was contained to a room at 1100 Francisco.”
Berkeley police are reporting huge increases in home burglaries in early 2015 compared to preliminary statistics recorded last year. Police received 70 home burglary calls for service in January 2015, compared to 46 the prior year. In February, the gap was even starker: There were 80 home burglary calls, compared to 25 the prior year. That’s a 220% increase. Read more on Berkeleyside.
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.
Police seek tips in fatal shooting of Berkeley bystander (04.10.15)
Berkeley police seize guns, pot, pills in felon search (04.09.15)
Police link Tilden homicide cold case to San Pablo man (04.08.15)
Berkeley police captain to become Benicia chief (04.08.15)
Berkeley home burglaries spike in 2015 over prior year (04.07.15)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, March 19-25 (04.03.15)
Do you rely on Berkeleyside for local news? Support independent journalism by becoming a Berkeleyside member for $5 a month or even less, or by making a one-time donation.