Crime log: Robbery arrests, gunfire in South Berkeley, stolen rental car found by CHP, National Night Out, more

See BPD's calls for service over the past six months in a heat map. See the list of incidents. Source: City of Berkeley
See BPD’s calls for service over the past six months in a heat map. See the list of incidents. Source: City of Berkeley

Note: The crime data typically published by the Berkeley Police Department has not been fully updated since early June due to technical problems. Berkeleyside has requested a fix, and an estimated date for that fix. The items that appear below have primarily been gleaned from reader tips, arrest records, calls for service reports and reports to other law enforcement agencies. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing crime@berkeleyside.com. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

Recent public safety incidents in Berkeley

STOLEN RENTAL CAR RECOVERED Authorities arrested a man in Berkeley after linking him to a stolen SUV on Wednesday, July 27. According to the California Highway Patrol’s Golden Gate Division spokesman, Officer John Fransen, the Alameda County Auto-Theft Task Force got a call that day from Hertz Rentals about a vehicle that had been recently stolen: “They notified us the vehicle was a silver 2016 Chevrolet Suburban that was stolen from their lot in Oakland earlier in the day. They also gave the Suburban’s current location.” Task force investigators responded to that location, the 2800 block of McGee Avenue in Berkeley, and spotted the unoccupied Chevy parked along the curb. Investigators kept an eye on the vehicle until a man later identified as 32-year-old Reginald Sinegal approached it and got inside. Investigators stopped Sinegal and took him into custody without incident. He was booked into North County Jail in connection with the stolen vehicle. No further information was available.

ROBBERY ARREST Police arrested Rico Thomas, a security guard, after a robbery last Wednesday at 7:16 a.m. at Gilman Street and West Frontage Road. The 28-year-old is no longer in custody, according to sheriff’s office records. He was released on $30,000 bail. He was charged with robbery and a special allegation related to prison eligibility if convicted, along with two misdemeanors tied to carrying a concealed loaded firearm in public. He is scheduled for his preliminary hearing Aug. 11.

GUNFIRE IN SOUTH BERKELEY Police got multiple reports Wednesday from residents who heard shots fired near Oregon and Acton streets in South Berkeley. BPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel said officers “responded to the scene and were unable to find any persons, vehicles, or residences that were hit with gunfire.” They did recover shell casings from the scene. Police called local hospitals but found no one who had been admitted with apparent gunshot wounds.


WEAPONS CALL AT NORTH BERKELEY BART The BART Police were called to the North Berkeley station after one person reported having gotten into a verbal fight there with someone who showed him a gun in his waistband. The incident took place around midnight Thursday, July 28. Authorities said the suspect was last seen at the bus stop at the station. Berkeley Police officers arrived and saw someone in the bus zone who matched the description. The station was temporarily shut down and trains were held at Berkeley PD’s request, according to the BART Police. When BART Police officers arrived, they detained the possible suspect. When they searched him, however, they found no gun, and he was eventually released. According to the BART Police, a use of force investigation was conducted. No further information was provided.

Thomas Abrahamsen. Source: SFPD
Thomas Abrahamsen. Source: SFPD

SFPD OFFICER ARRESTED, TIED TO ASSAULT RIFLE A 50-year-old Berkeley man working as an officer for the San Francisco Police Department was arrested last week after authorities said he had manufactured and was in possession of a prohibited AR-15 assault rifle, and components for the gun. SFPD announced the arrest Thursday and said an internal affairs investigation had been launched “based on information gathered from other Department members.” The investigation, which began in the summer of 2015, ultimately linked Thomas Abrahamsen to the rifle. He surrendered himself last week Tuesday, July 26, and was booked into San Francisco County Jail in connection with two felonies: the manufacture of an assault weapon and possession of an assault weapon. Abrahamsen, an 18-year veteran of SFPD, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

UC BERKELEY EMBEZZLEMENT A former UC Berkeley staffer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to repay the nearly $400,000 she embezzled from the educational program she worked for, federal prosecutors and the FBI have announced. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Help improve the blotter: Send Berkeleyside neighborhood crime news.

BSNC TO MEET ABOUT POLICE-SCHOOLS COLLABORATION The Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee, a collection of residents involved with Neighborhood Watch-type efforts, meets monthly with top police officials to ask questions of community concern. The group’s next meeting is coming up Monday, Aug. 8, and is focused on how police and the school district interact to keep the community safe: “This is an especially important meeting for everyone – whether you have a child enrolled in our schools, live near a school, or not. The question of interaction between our School District and our Police Department has been a matter of great concern for years.” The district has been working to craft a policy that will protect the rights of students and the BUSD community. A vote to finalize the policy, now in draft form, is expected later this year. BSNC meets Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Berkeley Police Department, 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Connect with the group on Facebook.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT IS TONIGHT, AUG. 2 The city reminds community members to “join a gathering in Berkeley on Tuesday for National Night Out, an effort to build safer and healthier communities by making and strengthening relationships and neighborhoods. Berkeley events — from potlucks and barbecues to simpler gatherings — have been organized.… In addition to meeting neighbors, you’ll also have a chance to network and meet with City of Berkeley employees from a number of departments. Staff from Police and Fire to Public works will be visiting events all over the City.” See the list of all the planned events to find one near you. See past Berkeleyside coverage of National Night Out.

July arrests and other incidents in Berkeley

Note: Items that appear below followed by an asterisk are calls for service only. They have not been verified as actual reports because of the delay in the publication of updated police data noted at the top of this story. Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent.


Friday, July 8

Police arrested Deante Davis, 30, in connection with a drug violation in the 2100 block of Milvia Street shortly after midnight. He is listed, according to online records from the sheriff’s office, with having failed to complete required annual registration as a sex offender. He no longer appears to be in custody, according to Alameda County sheriff’s office records online. His next court date was not listed.

A robbery was reported at 2 a.m. in the 1900 block of Oxford Street.*

Two Berkeley police officers helped save the life of an infant who stopped breathing, and the boy is now in stable condition at a local hospital, authorities have said. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Police arrested Nicholas Primous, 33, on suspicion of marijuana sales at about 8:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Alcatraz Avenue. He is no longer in custody but is scheduled for an attorney and plea hearing Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 8:30 a.m. at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

A home burglary was reported at 10:14 a.m. in the 2000 block of Kittredge Street.*


Saturday, July 9

A robbery was reported at 4:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Rose Street.*

Two home burglaries were reported, at 4 p.m. in the 1800 block of Sonoma Avenue, and at 5 p.m. in the 3000 block of College Avenue.*

A commercial burglary was reported at 11:42 p.m. in the 1900 block of Russell Street.*

Sunday, July 10

A weapons offense (gun or other weapon) was reported at 1:21 a.m. at Sixth and Cedar streets.*

A 52-year-old Berkeley woman who was walking alone near the Gourmet Ghetto was attacked and robbed in broad daylight in the 2000 block of Vine Street. The man got into the passenger seat of a dark-colored Chevy and fled south on Henry. He was described as black, 30 years old, 5 foot 10 and 180 pounds, and was wearing a white shirt and dark pants. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Police arrested Malik Djoumi, 26, after being called to the 2100 block of Allston Way for a disorderly conduct report at about 7:30 p.m. Djoumi was arrested on suspicion of burglary and other violations. He is no longer in custody, according to the sheriff’s office, but is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday related to probation revocation.

Monday, July 11

A home burglary was reported at 4:30 a.m. in the 1100 block of Spruce Street.*

Three robberies were reported: at 5:45 p.m. in the 1800 block of University Avenue; at 9:57 p.m. at Hillegass Avenue and Stuart Street; and at 10:35 p.m. at Bancroft Way and Dana Street.*

A man who set his shirt on fire after threatening people on a BART train with a knife was arrested, authorities report. According to a brief notice released by the BART Police on Monday night, the man was riding a Fremont-bound train when he began to threaten people with the knife. BART officers responded to the Ashby station, at 3100 Adeline St., to intercept the train and detain the man at about 4:40 p.m. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Tuesday, July 12

Berkeleyside got several questions about police activity, including an investigation into gunfire on Stuart Street that damaged a vehicle, an arrest downtown after a fight, and an agitated man who ended up being taken for a psychiatric evaluation in South Berkeley. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Two home burglaries were reported, at 12:41 p.m. in the 1300 block of Carrison Street, and at 8:50 p.m. in the 1800 block of Berkeley Way.*

A felony assault or battery was reported at 8:38 p.m. in the 1900 block of Stuart Street.*

A robbery was reported at 9:10 p.m. in the 2300 block of Dana Street.*

An Oakland man has been charged with felony car theft and reckless driving during a police chase into Berkeley. The CHP tried to stop a stolen Ford in Oakland, but it took off. “After pursuing the Ford for a few blocks, officers discontinued their pursuit due to the suspect’s reckless driving,” the CHP told Berkeleyside. “However, other officers spotted the vehicle heading towards the freeway on West Grand and Frontage in Oakland and were able to re-initiate pursuit.” The Ford got onto I-80, eastbound from West Grand Avenue, and the CHP continued to follow it. The driver exited at University Avenue in Berkeley and ran into a concrete wall. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Wednesday, July 13

Police responded at 4:47 a.m. to the 800 block of Bolivar Drive for a fraud report. They arrested Ronnie Brooks, 35, on suspicion of ID theft. He remains in custody, according to sheriff’s office records, in connection with burglary. He was scheduled for a hearing Monday.

A thief stole a catalytic converter from a 2008 Honda Element parked at the North Berkeley BART station between 7:15 a.m. and 7:10 p.m., the BART PD reports. It may be the first time since February this type of theft has been reported at a Berkeley station. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Two home burglaries were reported, at 7:43 a.m. in the 1800 block of Curtis Street, and at 1 p.m. in the 2000 block of Fifth Street.*

A felony assault or battery was reported at 1:15 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Channing Way.*

Police said they found this loaded gun during a probation search earlier this week. Photo: BPD
Police said they found this loaded gun during a probation search earlier this week. Photo: BPD

Police arrested an Oakland man after they stopped him for a vehicle code violation and found a loaded pistol under his seat, authorities report. The car stop took place at 11:25 p.m. in the 2100 block of Kittredge, said Lt. Kevin Schofield, a Berkeley Police spokesman, in response to a Berkeleyside query. Aaron Davis remains in custody. His next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Thursday, July 14

A weapons offense (gun or other weapon) was reported at 3 a.m. in the 1500 block of Oregon Street.*

A robbery was reported at 11:40 a.m. in the 1700 block of Oregon Street.*

A home burglary was reported at noon in the 2300 block of Derby Street.*

Friday, July 15

Three home burglaries were reported: at 2:47 a.m. in the 1500 block of Hopkins Street; at 12:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Fulton Street; and at 8 p.m. in the 2400 block of Oregon Street.*

Police arrested 42-year-old Albert Adams in connection with a robbery call at 7:50 a.m. in the 1200 block of Allston Way. He has been charged with robbery, causing injury to an elderly person, burglary and other violations. Berkeleyside has requested additional information from the district attorney’s office. Adams remains in custody with a bail of $320,000. He is scheduled for his preliminary hearing Tuesday, Aug. 2, according to sheriff’s office records.

A felony assault or battery was reported at 1:45 p.m. at Dwight Way and San Pablo Avenue.*

Police arrested Collette Green in connection with a narcotics call in the 400 block of 63rd Street at about 6:45 p.m. the prior day. Green was arrested at 7:45 p.m. She remains in custody in connection with drug sales allegations, and is being held with a bail of $85,000, according to the sheriff’s office. Her next court appearance was not listed.

A weapons offense (gun or other weapon) was reported at 7:20 p.m. at Telegraph Avenue and Russell Street.*

A second robbery was reported, at 10:03 p.m., in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue.*

Saturday, July 16

A weapons offense (brandishing) was reported at 1:19 p.m. in the 3200 block of Boise Street.*

Police arrested Braylin Hines, 30, after a robbery call at Bancroft Way and Shattuck Avenue at 1:25 p.m. Hines remains in custody on suspicion of robbery, burglary, being a felon in possession of a firearm and other allegations. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15, according to sheriff’s office records.

Police arrested Deandre Bess, 20, during a narcotics call at Idaho and 65th streets around 5 p.m. He was picked up on a misdemeanor but remains in custody in connection with firearms-related charges from December, according to sheriff’s office records. Bess is being held without bail and his next court date was not listed.

A felony assault or battery was reported at 11:17 p.m. in the 2700 block of Dohr Street.*

Sunday, July 17

A home burglary was reported at 11:05 a.m. in the 1700 block of Berkeley Way.*

A man was arrested at the Ashby BART flea market after police were flagged down about a possible theft, the BART Police report. Officers were flagged down at about 12:30 p.m by a security guard at the flea market who pointed out a man suspected of stealing something. Police spoke with the man and conducted a records check; they found him to have a no-bail burglary warrant out of San Francisco. The man was arrested and taken to Berkeley City Jail but his name was not available as of publication time.

Monday, July 18

A felony assault or battery was reported at 12:40 a.m. at Channing Way and Ellsworth Street.*

A robbery was reported at 1:20 a.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck Avenue.*

A misdemeanor sexual battery was reported at 11:50 a.m. in the 2900 block of Derby Street.*

A home burglary was reported at noon in the 100 block of Forest Lane.*

An unidentified woman stabbed a 57-year-old man in the neck around 5 p.m. at People’s Park, according to the University of California Police Department. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Tuesday, July 19

Berkeley police have arrested five people in connection with shots fired by someone in a car with a BB gun. According to Sgt. Andrew Frankel, BPD spokesman, police received several reports of someone shooting a BB gun from a silver sedan. Shortly after midnight, there was a report from Channing Way and Ellsworth Street where two people in a car shot someone in the back with what was believed to be a BB gun, according to authorities. Frankel said that, about 45 minutes after the initial call, a Berkeley Police officer “heard BB gun shots coming from a car that fit the description” provided earlier. Read more on Berkeleyside.

Readers in North Berkeley asked Berkeleyside about what sounded like perhaps 10 gunshots at about 12:40 a.m. Police said there were multiple reports of possible gunfire around McGee and Hopkins, but that officers who responded to the area were not able to find any signs of damage, victims or casings. Some reported just one or shot shots, while others reported 10 or 12. But no one heard anything like a vehicle speeding away from the scene or any other kind of commotion, police said.

A weapons offense (gun or other weapon) was reported at 2:20 a.m. at Fairview and Adeline streets.*

Three home burglaries were reported: at 3:53 a.m. in the 1600 block of Grant Street; at 7:50 a.m. in the 1600 block of 63rd Street; and at 10:30 a.m. in the 1600 block of Curtis Street.*

There was a commercial burglary reported at 7:55 a.m. in the 1500 block of Hopkins Street.*

Berkeley Police don bullet proof vests to search for a man reportedly walking through the Marina with a rifle. Photo: Terri Kay
Police don bulletproof vests to search for a man reportedly walking through a park with a rifle. Photo: Terri Kay

Police officers from multiple agencies responded to McLaughlin/Eastshore State Park after what police said were two credible reports of a man seen entering the park with a rifle. According to the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department, officers conducted a thorough search but ultimately found no one. The park was closed and put on lockdown in the morning, but was reopened shortly before 6 p.m., according to the EBRPD PD. Involved agencies included the Berkeley and Oakland police departments, the California Highway Patrol’s Oakland office, the Alameda County sheriff’s office and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service. Read the Berkeleyside story.

A man reported the theft of a Men’s Fuji 4.0 21-speed matte gray bicycle valued at $300 from the downtown Berkeley station. The bike had been secured with a U-lock between 7:30 a.m. and about 7:50 p.m., according to the BART Police.

Wednesday, July 20

Two home burglaries were reported, at 9:30 a.m. in the 2700 block of Channing Way, and at 11 a.m. in the 1400 block of Keoncrest Drive.*

Police arrested Charles Henson Jr., 28, in connection with a robbery at 11:50 a.m. in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Henson remains in custody on suspicion of robbery, assault and other felony violations. His bail is set at $25,000 and his next court date was not listed, according to sheriff’s office records online.

Two other robberies were reported, at 3:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Fourth Street, and at 10:54 p.m. in the 2500 block of Bancroft Way.*

A driver told the BART Police that his or her 2008 Hyundai Elantra had been burglarized at the Ashby BART station between 8:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. The thief smashed the driver’s side window to get inside, and took the vehicle registration and a phone charger. The victim declined to have the vehicle processed for evidence.

Thursday, July 21

Five home burglaries were reported: at 11 a.m. in the 1300 block of Burnett Street; at 12:15 p.m. in the 1800 block of Hearst Avenue; at 5:20 p.m. in the 1100 block of Francisco Street; at 9 p.m. in the 1600 block of Acton Street; and at 11 p.m. in the 2000 block of Parker Street.*

There was a commercial burglary reported at 1:15 p.m. in the 1900 block of Addison Street.*

Police arrested Ray Williams, 58, in connection with a home burglary at 5:20 p.m. in the 1100 block of Francisco Street. Williams remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in connection with eight felony charges including assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. He is scheduled for a plea hearing Tuesday, Aug. 2. His bail was not listed, according to sheriff’s office records, though at the time of his arrest it was set at $575,000.

Friday, July 22

A misdemeanor sexual assault was reported at about 3 a.m. in the 2200 block of Dwight Way.*

An arson was reported at 8:40 a.m. in the 2700 block of Channing Way.*

Police arrested Sean Collins Jr., 23, in connection with a robbery two days prior at 3:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Fourth. Collins remains in custody and has been charged with robbery, grand theft and possession of cocaine for sale. His bail is set at $55,000. He is scheduled to enter a plea Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Two robberies were reported, at 12:25 p.m. in the 2000 block of Oregon Street, and at 10:05 p.m. at Virginia and Milvia streets.*

Two home burglaries were reported, at 2:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Warring Street, and at 9 p.m. in the 1000 block of Delaware Street.*

Saturday, July 23

There was a commercial burglary reported at 3:50 p.m. in the 2100 block of Oxford Street.*

A robbery was reported at 2:51 p.m. at Eastshore Highway and Gilman Street.*

A home burglary was reported at 3:30 p.m. in the 800 block of Parnassus Road.*

A weapons offense (brandishing) was reported at 6:45 p.m. in the 1500 block of Berkeley Way.*

Sunday, July 24

A felony assault or battery was reported at 1:35 p.m. in the 2600 block of Durant Avenue.*

Monday, July 25

A robbery was reported at 12:15 a.m. at Addison Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.*

Police arrested Timothy Hawes, 34, after a narcotics call just before 2 a.m. at University Avenue and Eighth Street. He remains in custody with a bail of $150,000 in connection with a number of charges ranging from possession of a controlled substance for sale and other drug violations, as well as robbery and vehicle theft. Police have linked another person, Jabaree Mabrey, to the case, but Mabrey is not in custody and no further information was available. Hawes is scheduled for his preliminary hearing Aug. 8 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.

The BART Police reported several incidents at Berkeley stations beginning at 7:30 a.m. when a man stole $30 from the tip jar at a coffee vendor at the downtown Berkeley station. He fled from the station and wasn’t located. At 1:45 p.m., a woman reported that her credit card, which had been taken during an earlier burglary, had been used at the Ashby BART station to buy two $50 tickets. Police planned to review station video to learn more. Finally, at 3 p.m., a BART patron reported that his bike had been stolen from the Ashby BART station several days prior, July 21. The bike had been locked to the exterior bike rack with a U-lock and a cable.

There had been 19 auto burglaries (break-ins) in UC Berkeley parking lots on or near campus since the beginning of June, the University of California Police Department reported early last week, July 25. According to UCPD, “In almost all of the incidents valuables were left in plain sight and the burglaries occurred through a window smash. UCPD’s random patrol efforts and dedicated directed patrol operations continue.” To discourage thieves, police ask people to leave nothing of value visible in the car; close and lock the vehicle; park in well-lit, populated areas; and not to park by occupied vehicles. See more safety tips from UCPD.

Tuesday, July 26

There were two commercial burglaries reported, both at midnight, in the 3000 block of Stanton Street, and in the 2100 block of San Pablo Avenue.*

A weapons offense (gun or other weapon) was reported at 11:32 p.m. in the 800 block of Bolivar Drive.*

Wednesday, July 27

Gunfire was reported at 1:53 a.m. at Acton and Oregon streets. (See the top of this story for details.)

An arson was reported at 3:06 a.m. in the 1500 block of Ashby Avenue.*

Three home burglaries were reported: at 6:45 a.m. in the 1400 block of Stannage Avenue; at 1 p.m. in the same block; and at 7 p.m. in the 1400 block of Addison Street.*

Three robberies were reported: at 7:16 a.m. at Gilman and Frontage; at 3:50 p.m. in the 1900 block of University Avenue; and at 10:23 p.m. at Cedar and Josephine Streets.*

Thursday, July 28

A weapons offense (brandishing) was reported at 6:53 a.m. in the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue.*

A misdemeanor sexual assault was reported at 10 a.m. in the 1000 block of Gilman Street.*

A robbery was reported at 6:45 p.m. in the 2500 block of Telegraph Avenue.*

* These incidents are unconfirmed because of the delay in the publication of updated police data. 

Update, Aug. 6: BPD reports that CrimeMapping has been fixed. The following weekly snapshots have been added for context. 

SNAPSHOTS From July 7-13, there were reports of seven robberies10 burglaries12 assaults or batteriestwo weapon-involved calls and no reported sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also nine stolen vehicles16 disturbances and 33 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A sex crime, a vehicle theft and three vandalisms, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD).

From July 14-20, there were reports of seven robberies12 burglaries19 assaults or batteriesfour weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also five stolen vehicles11 disturbances and 25 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Two weapons calls and an assault, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD).

From July 21-27, there were reports of six robberies16 burglaries13 assaults or batteriesthree weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 12 stolen vehicleseight disturbances and 22 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A weapons call and a vandalism, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD).

Berkeley public safety data resources

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.

Related:
After 41 years, Cynthia F. Harris retires from Berkeley Police Department (08.01.16)
2 Berkeley men picked up in murder bust; 1 still wanted (07.29.16)
Sex offender set to enter plea after stalking, threats (07.28.16)
Bones of missing UC Berkeley student found in Marin (07.27.16)
Fire calls: Blaze at dry cleaner causes $100K in damage; man rescued from water at marina (07.27.16)
Berkeley police emphasize ‘culture of de-escalation’ (07.19.16)
Crime log: Sex offender arrested after stalking, homeless man charged in bat assault (07.18.16)

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