This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
SNAPSHOT From June 2-8, there were reports of two robberies, 15 burglaries, 13 assaults or batteries, three weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 14 stolen vehicles, 15 disturbances and 29 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Two sex crimes and one weapons call, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the June 2-8 round-up below several more recent items.
Recent public safety news
BAG GRAB ON COLLEGE A local resident told Berkeleyside on Twitter about a “grab, run & chase” on Woolsey Street between College and Benvenue avenues Thursday, June 16, at about 10 p.m. The victim — who lives in the neighborhood — was “shaken but appears OK,” said Peter Sussman, who was nearby after the crime took place. The man was on his way home from work when robbers struck; he clung to his bag, which held his computer, and chased after the bandits when the strap broke. There were two other robberies in Berkeley that day, according to CrimeMapping.com. Tune into Berkeleyside’s next crime blotter for details.
SENIOR STREAK AT BHS PRECEDES CAR CRASH INVOLVING STUDENTS Earlier this month, June 9, the annual “Senior Streak” tradition at Berkeley High took place just before a car crash involving students that sent one of them to the hospital.
According to an email from BHS Principal Sam Pasarow, “a Berkeley High student was driving on Bancroft and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The student lost control of the car, and it struck several parked cars on the eastern side of MLK Jr. Way. In one of the parked cars was another student, who was taken to the hospital with possible injuries. Berkeley Police Officers responded to the scene immediately and the Berkeley High School Health Center provided medical care for the student who was in the parked car at the time of the collisions.”
In an email to the school community, Pasarow said he wondered “whether the disruption caused by the Senior Streak and other year-end traditions may sometimes give rise to reckless behaviors. While exhibiting occasional bad judgment characterizes the teenage experience in general, I do wonder about the Senior Streak’s negative impact on school culture and the recklessness that ensued this afternoon.” He asked students to remember to keep safety in mind during graduation season, “and be aware of the potential serious consequences of unbridled revelry.”
(Berkeleyside first posted the video above, by local filmmaker Kim Aronson, on Facebook.)
REMINDER TO DELIVERY TRUCKS The Berkeley Police Department has put out a reminder to delivery truck drivers about which routes they can use. Trucks weighing more than 6,000 pounds must avoid certain streets. Berkeley’s primary east-west routes are Gilman Street and University Avenue. North-south routes are San Pablo and Shattuck avenues. “The City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Police Department would like to remind everyone, especially businesses and delivery companies, to comply with posted signs regarding delivery routes, weight limits and restricted roadways.” Read the full Nixle alert.
The week in review: June 2-8
Thursday, June 2
There was an arson call at 2:30 a.m. in the 2900 block of College Avenue.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 6:03 a.m. in the 1300 block of Ashby Avenue, and at 2:45 p.m. in the 200 block of Roble Road.
UCPD got a report at 8:52 a.m. about a suspicious circumstance regarding “inappropriate employee conduct concerning alcohol” at Koshland Hall. It’s under investigation.
Help improve the blotter: Send Berkeleyside neighborhood crime news.
There was a home burglary at 10:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of Sacramento Street.
Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 12:55 p.m. in the 2100 block of San Pablo Avenue.
UCPD got a report at about 1:45 p.m. about damage to a window at Bowles Hall that might have been caused with a BB gun May 30-31. It’s under investigation.
There was a fight around 1 p.m. on University Avenue near Realm Charter School that drew a crowd of about 100 students. Berkeleyside readers reported “commotion and heavy police presence on university near San Pablo” and police “talking to folks @ realm high school.” One student was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest. (This item first appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
An Alameda County jury came back to recommend a sentence of death in the case against Darnell Williams Jr., who had already been found guilty of the killings in 2013 of a little girl at a sleepover and a man who was pleading for his life as he tried to run away. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Sometime prior to about 2:30 p.m., police responded to Ninth and Cedar streets in West Berkeley for a car crash. Sgt. Andrew Frankel, Berkeley Police spokesman, said the crash involved two vehicles but there were no injuries.
Three golf carts at Civic Center Park, rented for the Bay Area Book Festival, were stolen June 3, the night before the popular festival began. Four of them had been rented to help distribute items to 40 different venues. Said Lisa Bullwinkel, who helped organize the event, “What a surprise on Saturday morning when they were gone. Apparently, my hired security guard was overwhelmed by a band of kids from Berkeley High who came off the campus around 9PM Friday and took off with two of the carts. One kid drove one into a concrete bollard, knocking off the front fender, before taking off.” Read more on Berkeleyside.
There was a disturbance at 11:30 p.m. in the 700 block of University Avenue.
Friday, June 3
There were two disturbance calls, at 1:21 a.m. in the 800 block of Bolivar Drive, and at 12:45 p.m. in the 1200 block of Monterey Avenue (second response call).
There was a felony assault or battery at 10:40 a.m. in the 1500 block of Derby Street.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 1:50 p.m. in the 2000 block of Kittredge Street, and at 11:30 p.m. at Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue.
UCPD confiscated a sword at People’s Park at about 4:40 p.m. and took it away for destruction. According to the log, 12 minutes later, a 42-year-old man at the park relinquished a broken sword for destruction.
There was a home burglary at 5 p.m. in the 2100 block of Stuart Street.
Saturday, June 4
UCPD responded at 12:40 a.m. to three students trespassing at the Haas Clubhouse Pool.
Reader Michael McCutcheon said the urn at Great Stoneface Park in Berkeley was damaged. He filed a vandalism report with BPD. (See Berkeleyside’s original post about this on Facebook.)
BART Police officers conducted a welfare check at 9:35 a.m. on a man who was causing a disturbance at the Ashby station: “Once the officers contacted the male he became combative during the contact resulting in the officers having to use physical force to control him and place him into handcuffs. The male was subsequently placed on a psychiatric detention and transported the hospital for evaluation.”
There was a disturbance at 2:38 p.m. in the 2900 block of Adeline Street.
There was a felony assault or battery at 5:55 p.m. in the 100 block of Seawall Drive. Police arrested Cynthia Mathis, 52, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. She is no longer in custody, having posted bond for a $30,000 bail. She is scheduled to enter a plea July 5, and has already been arraigned, according to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office.
There was a home burglary at 6:25 p.m. in the 2900 block of Florence Street.
UCPD confiscated a bicycle wheel at 11:52 p.m. from West End Way in Albany. It was taken to the station for safekeeping.
Sunday, June 5
There was a robbery at 12:10 a.m. at Prospect Street and Channing Way.
There was a felony sexual assault at 11:50 a.m. in the 2300 block of San Pablo Avenue.
UCPD responded at 12:52 p.m. to a small fire in University Village in Albany in the 600 block of Kula Gulf Way. The Albany Fire Department and UC fire marshal also responded.
Police arrested an 18-year-old who grabbed a cellphone from another person at the downtown Berkeley BART station, then punched him in the face before fleeing on a train after a bystander was able to take back the phone. The robbery attempt happened just before 1:10 p.m., according to the BART Police. Jordan Perez, who turned 19 on Thursday, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $30,000. His next court appearance was not listed in sheriff’s office records online. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There were two disturbance calls, at 2 p.m. in the 100 block of Spinnaker Way, and at 3:36 p.m. in the 1800 block of Arch Street.
A woman reported to the BART Police the theft of her blue and white Sutra bike from the North Berkeley station between 8 a.m. and 6:40 p.m. The bike had been locked with a cable and lock.
UCPD responded at 9:16 p.m. for a 48-year-old man who was making suspicious 911 calls from a payphone at 2201 Bancroft Way.
A vehicle was stolen at 10:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Allston Way.
Monday, June 6
There were three disturbance calls: at midnight in the 2600 block of Mathews Street; at 1 p.m. in the 900 block of Indian Rock Avenue; and at 11:36 p.m. in the 700 block of Ashby Avenue.
There were four home burglaries, at 2 a.m. in the 1600 block of Harmon Street; at 8 a.m. in the 1900 block of Berryman Street; at 1 p.m. in the 1900 block of Stuart Street; and at 9:30 p.m. in the 2600 block of Center Street.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 2:07 a.m. in the 1600 block of Josephine Street; at 8 a.m. at Curtis and Virginia streets; and at 9:30 p.m. in the 2600 block of Shattuck Avenue. Police arrested Julia Foster, 20, in connection with the incident on Josephine on suspicion of vehicle theft, burglary and other violations. She is no longer in custody, according to online records from the sheriff’s department. She is scheduled for further pretrial Wednesday, June 22.
A machinery fire in West Berkeley was quickly contained and extinguished by the Berkeley Fire Department. The incident, which was first reported around 11:15 a.m., happened at the corner of Anthony and Fifth streets, according to BFD Acting Deputy Fire Chief Abe Roman. Read more on Berkeleyside.
UCPD confiscated a knife for destruction at Center and Oxford at 3:32 p.m.
Local resident Nancy Carleton was at Albany Beach and the Albany Bulb when she saw what appeared to be a search-and-rescue operation in the bay shortly before 4 p.m.: “There were two fire engines and two paramedic trucks in the Golden Gate Fields parking area by the beach and various rescue personnel in the water and on the beach, though they were packing up and getting ready to leave around the time we left.” Carleton was able to find out from the Albany Fire Department that the operation had been a joint drill between the Berkeley and Albany emergency rescue departments. She added: “Because more windsurfers are going off Albany Beach (moderate to advanced conditions), Albany is stepping up its emergency water rescue team (and of course Berkeley already has one that practices).”
Tuesday, June 7
There was a robbery at 12:30 a.m. in the 2600 block of Sacramento Street.
UCPD got a report about a man in his 30s who exposed himself in the RSF lobby at about 7:10 a.m.. He was described as black and was wearing a tight black Under Armor long-sleeved shirt and a tight black beanie. The case is under investigation.
Someone turned in a knife to UCPD at 8:16 a.m. for destruction.
There was a home burglary at 10:30 a.m. in the 1400 block of Acton Street.
A thief stole a fire extinguisher from UCPD’s Underhill parking lot between June 1 at 4:30 p.m. and June 7 at 10:45 a.m.
There were three disturbance calls: at noon in the 1800 block of Solano Avenue; at 8:55 p.m. in the 1700 block of University Avenue; and at 10:51 p.m. in the 2300 block of Shattuck Avenue.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 12:10 p.m. in the 2100 block of Allston Way, and at 5:17 p.m. in the 1200 block of San Pablo Avenue.
A suspicious man was causing a disturbance at 2427 Dwight Way and 2339 Haste St., UCPD reported. The disturbances took place between 2:05 p.m. and 2:25 p.m. The man was described as white and in his 50s, and 6 feet tall with a medium build. He had black hair and blue eyes, was clean cut, and was wearing a navy-colored T-shirt and slacks or jeans.
UCPD arrested a 25-year-old man in People’s Park at about 4:15 p.m. on suspicious of possession of a knife greater than 3 inches, probation violation and violation of a court order. He was taken to Berkeley Jail for booking. He is no longer listed in sheriff’s office records so the current status of the case was unknown.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 6 p.m. in the 1400 block of Henry Street; at 6 p.m. in the 1500 block of Le Roy Avenue; and at 7 p.m. in the 1100 block of Hearst Avenue.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 10:48 p.m. at Alcatraz Avenue and Dover Street.
Wednesday, June 8
There were three disturbance calls: at 2:06 a.m. at Bowditch Street and Durant Avenue; at 3:30 a.m. in the 2300 block of Parker Street; and at 10:18 p.m. in the 2000 block of San Pablo Avenue.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 3:48 a.m. in the 2300 block of San Pablo, and at 7:58 a.m. in the 1900 block of Addison Street.
South Berkeley neighbors were on alert when police responded to 65th and Herzog streets, in North Oakland, for a report of a possible kidnapping. Berkeleyside kept readers informed on Facebook, and police put out numerous alerts about the incident. OPD said the report came in at about 9:15 a.m. about a possible kidnapping in the 1000 block of 65th. Ultimately, the teenage victim was found safe and the person believed to the responsible, a man in his 20s, was arrested. Several Berkeley Police officers helped block traffic in the area and look for the suspect during the incident. BPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel confirmed today, June 15, this was not related to several kidnapping attempts in Berkeley that began last fall. (This item first appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 10:05 a.m. at an unlisted location.
At about 11 a.m., a male faculty member at Evans Hall reported receiving “troubling emails” from a former student, UCPD reported. The case is under investigation.
A 21-year-old man from Pittsburg who was arrested in Berkeley with a gun authorities say was used to kill a young woman in Oakland earlier that day has been charged with murder. Berkeley officers arrested Darion Brown at 10:30 a.m. June 8 after being called to 1201 The Alameda for a report of a man who was “acting aggressive” toward Chevron gas station customers, according to court papers. Brown is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail and is scheduled to enter a plea July 5 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland. He has already been arraigned, according to sheriff’s office records online. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 2:30 p.m. at Ashby Avenue and Harper Street; at 6 p.m. in the 1300 block of Milvia Street; and at 11 p.m. in the 1600 block of California Street.
There were three home burglaries: at 2:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of Harmon Street; at 8 p.m. in the 2400 block of Prospect Street; and at 11 p.m. in the 700 block of Euclid Avenue.
UCPD received a report of a rape May 20 at 2 a.m. in the courtyard of Unit 3, at 2400 Durant St., authorities said. The agency received word of the incident June 8, and noted that the suspect and victim knew each other. The suspect was described as a 20-year-old male student, 5 feet 10 inches tall and 190 pounds, with a medium build and brown wavy medium-length hair. Police ask anyone with information about the case to call UCPD at 510-642-6760. For safety tips related to sexual assault, read the original statement from UCPD. (This incident appeared in last week’s blotter for timeliness.)
Berkeley public safety data resources
- The Berkeley Police Department incident log on CrimeMapping and CrimeView Community
- The UCPD crime log, also posted in brief on CrimeMapping, and UCPD crime alerts
- Listen to the police scanner online
- Local Crime News lists arrests of Berkeley residents (not by agency); BPD’s arrest log and booking log (new as of April 2016)
- Nixle public safety alerts, by email and text, from BPD and UCPD
- The Berkeley Police Department’s “calls for service” heat map
- BPD on Twitter: Chief Meehan, spokesman Sgt. Frankel, Officer Byron White
- See what the Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee (BSNC) is up to
- Learn about what info BPD can release to the public
- Find your area coordinator to ask about neighborhood issues (but don’t forget to tip Berkeleyside, too!)
Please note: These 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. 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.
Man taken to Highland after fall into moving vehicle (06.21.16)
2 stabbed, 1 sought after dispute at Berkeley park (06.20.16)
Crime log: People’s Park rape, community fair, bank robber sentenced for murder, more (06.17.16)
Large truck overturns in Berkeley Hills; driver extricated (06.16.16)
$50,000 reward offered by FBI to find ‘prolific’ rapist, killer (06.16.16)
Crime log: Rape at dorm, actor surrenders after near-fatal crash, more (06.15.16)
Missing 84-year-old Dorothy Ewing has been found (06.13.16)
Do you rely on Berkeleyside for local news? Support independent journalism by becoming a Berkeleyside member for $10 a month or even less, or by making a one-time donation.