This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
From Feb. 25 to March 2, there were reports of four robberies, 16 burglaries, 17 assaults or batteries, one weapon-involved call and two sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 11 stolen vehicles, eight disturbances and 35 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Two vehicle thefts were reported to the University of California Police Department (UCPD), but both were in Albany. The following items represent a sampling of calls; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period. Arrested and charged individuals listed in this blotter are presumed innocent.
Thursday, Feb. 25
There were six home burglaries: at 1:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of University Avenue; at 3:10 a.m. in the 1900 block of Hearst Avenue; at 8 a.m. in the 2400 block of Telegraph Avenue; at 11:28 a.m. in the 1300 block of Ashby Avenue; at 4 p.m. in the 2500 block of Regent Street; and at 4:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Sutter Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 2 a.m. in the 2300 block of Parker Street.
There was an arson call at 1:30 p.m. in the 3000 block of San Pablo Avenue.
The Berkeley Fire Department responded with a full first-alarm assignment to Oak Ridge Road, off Tunnel Road, for a report of smoke coming from a house, said Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken. Firefighters quickly determined that food left cooking on the stove had caused the smoke, and confirmed there was no actual fire. McCracken said, initially, many units responded: “Being that this is a fire sensitive area, and we are in a warming trend,” BFD called for mutual aid from Oakland Fire, East Bay Parks and Cal Fire, but canceled the request once the source was determined. (We first reported this on our Facebook page.)
There was a commercial burglary at 4:03 p.m. in the 2400 block of Durant Avenue.
There was a robbery at 6:54 p.m. at Shattuck and Durant. Police arrested three males, and were seeking a fourth, after the strong-arm robbery and assault. A 35-year-old man was walking when four people approached him. They “demanded the victim’s property, punched him, took property out of his hands, and fled the scene on foot,” according to UCPD. Police ultimately arrested two 17-year-olds and a 22-year-old named Alex Foster. As of Monday, Foster was still in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $20,000. He was scheduled to enter a plea that day. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Friday, Feb. 26
Detectives conducted a parole/probation and search warrant operation in Oakland, in the 900 block of Broadway, stemming from an ongoing Berkeley investigation, said Officer Jennifer Coats, BPD spokeswoman, in response to a query from Berkeleyside: “While checking the hotel rooms, officers recovered evidence of credit card fraud and identify theft. Officers discovered tools used to make or alter fraudulent credit cards and identification.” Six people were arrested: Cheyanne Colman, 19, of Pacifica; Kari Russo, 37, of Union City; Johann Santos, 39, of Vallejo; and three others identified as homeless, Allison Nault, 19, Joseph Catania, 36, and Sayuri Gatmaitam, 42. All were arrested on suspicion of identity theft and other violations. Gatmaitam, Russo and Santos also had outstanding warrants for their arrest, Coats said.
According to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office, Santos remains in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced April 13. Future hearings were not listed for the others, who are being held with varying bail amounts: Colman, $75,000; Russo, $160,000 (two cases); Catania, $320,000; and Gatmaitam, $530,000 (two cases). No information was listed about Nault, so her status was unknown.
A thief stole a red Nishiki mountain bike worth $200 from a Honda CRV parked at the Ashby BART station just after midnight, the BART Police reported.
There was a home burglary at 5:45 a.m. in the 1400 block of Russell Street.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 8 a.m. in the 1300 block of Santa Fe Avenue, and at 9:40 a.m. at Ashby Avenue and Colby Street.
There was a felony sexual assault at 5 p.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue.
Saturday, Feb. 27
There were two second-response calls, at 12:52 a.m. in the 2300 block of Channing Way, and at 11:01 p.m. in the 2500 block of Ridge Road.
There was a home burglary at 2 a.m. in the 2400 block of Ellsworth Street.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 1 p.m. in the 1900 block of Stuart Street, and at 9:30 p.m. in the 2400 block of Durant.
There was a robbery at 10 p.m. at Eighth and Harrison streets.
Sunday, Feb. 28
There were three home burglaries: at 2:40 a.m. in the 1300 block of Hearst Avenue; at 3:30 p.m. in the 2500 block of Ellsworth Street; and at 10 p.m. in the 1700 block of Walnut Street.
Firefighters responded to a house fire in the 2500 block of Grant Street, at Blake Street, just after 5:30 a.m. It caused an estimated $250,000 worth of damage to the structure and contents and forced the relocation of the home’s single occupant. The fire initially left the man’s cat missing, though she eventually was reunited with her owner. Read more on Berkeleyside.
A vehicle was stolen at 7 a.m. in the 2700 block of Dana Street.
Someone stole a blue Vilano single-speed bike from the Ashby BART station between Friday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 10:45 a.m. The bike had been locked with a cable and U-lock, the BART Police reported.
There were two disturbance calls, at 12:20 p.m. in the 2000 block of Allston Way, and at 2:35 p.m. in the 1500 block of Woolsey Street.
Monday, Feb. 29
There was a home burglary at 5:07 a.m. in the 2300 block of Piedmont Avenue.
There was a commercial burglary at 4:35 p.m. in the 1800 block of Woolsey Street.
There was a disturbance call at 4:44 p.m. in the 2600 block of California Street.
There was an arson call at 5:33 p.m. in the 1900 block of Allston Way.
A vehicle was stolen at 5:45 p.m. in the 1600 block of Harmon Street.
There was a robbery at 7:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Euclid Avenue.
There was a misdemeanor sexual assault at 10:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of San Pablo Avenue.
Tuesday, March 1
Sometime late Monday or early Tuesday, a vandal or vandals struck in the 1200 block of Parker Street, near Mathews Street. A local resident told Berkeleyside it appeared someone had broken numerous car windows, possibly with a BB gun. Officer Jennifer Coats of BPD said six vehicles were damaged overall. The person who reported it to police had a damaged window but nothing was taken from the vehicle, Coats said. Another local resident told Berkeleyside there were problems two nights running: “police say there has been someone driving around Dwight, McGee and Acton shooting out car windows.” No further information was available.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 4 p.m. in the 1000 block of Page Street; at 5:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of Keith Avenue; and at 9:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Derby Street.
There was a robbery at 4:36 p.m. at Adeline and Oregon streets.
There was a noise-related disturbance at 7:06 p.m. at Parker Street and College Avenue.
Wednesday, March 2
A middle-aged white man in plaid shorts on a silver or gray bike was seen reaching into a vehicle with a smashed window parked at the North Berkeley station, the BART Police reported. The witness called police at 8:30 a.m., about an hour after seeing this. Police responded to the station and found the vehicle, but the man on the bike was no longer around.
There were two disturbance calls, at 8:15 a.m. in the 2600 block of California Street, and at 10:26 p.m. in the 2200 block of Blake Street.
There were two home burglaries, at 10:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of Prince Street, and at 8 p.m. in the 2000 block of Delaware Street.
Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 11:12 a.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck.
A vehicle was stolen at 2 p.m. in the 2000 block of Dwight Way.
Police arrested 33-year-old Antwan Dotson on suspicion of identity theft. He is being held with a bail of $80,000 at Santa Rita Jail, and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Tuesday morning.
Police arrested Siaosi Aleamotua just before 10:30 p.m. in connection with a felony assault or battery on Telegraph Avenue on Feb. 7 at 5:20 p.m. Aleamotua, 23, is being held with a bail of $180,000 at Santa Rita Jail. His next hearing date was not listed as of Monday, March 21. Aleamotua was arrested last year in Berkeley after police said he stomped a 69-year-old man who refused to give him $1, and in 2013 after police said he hit a downtown Berkeley vendor, who refused to give him money, with a wooden object. The outcome of those cases was not immediately available.
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, and UCPD crime alerts. 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.
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