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 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.
SNAPSHOT From Aug. 19-25, there were reports of four robberies, 17 burglaries, 16 assaults or batteries, no weapon-involved calls and three felony sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 11 stolen vehicles, 20 disturbances and 31 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A robbery, three burglaries and a vehicle theft, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the Aug. 19-25 round-up below several more recent items.
Recent public safety news
OAKLAND TEEN ARRESTED AFTER ROBBERY ATTEMPT An 18-year-old from Oakland was arrested after trying to rob someone outside the Starry Plough on Sunday night. BPD watch commander Lt. Alyson Hart said officers received good suspect and vehicle descriptions. A short time later, “an officer tried to stop a vehicle that matched the description. The vehicle did not stop and the officer followed it a short distance into Oakland before letting it go. As he was concluding his area check he saw that the vehicle had crashed and someone was running from the car. The suspect was caught and arrested several blocks away. This case is still very much in the early stages of the investigation.” Police arrested Isaac Rojas on suspicion of attempted robbery and resisting arrest; he could be sent to prison if convicted. Rojas is being held with a bail of $30,000 and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Sept. 20, according to Alameda County sheriff’s office records online.
ROBBERY ALERT There were two other robberies in Berkeley on Sunday, at 3:40 p.m. in the 1900 block of San Pablo Avenue, at 5 p.m. in the 1900 block of Shattuck.
DRINKING AT CAL BPD reported 551 alcohol-related citations, and 17 in-custody arrests during the last two weekends in August in the South Campus area as part of a coordinated effort with a number of other law enforcement agencies: “Citations were written for a number of offenses including Open Containers, Selling/Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor, Minor in Possession, and Possession of a Fake ID for the Purposes of Purchasing Alcohol. If cited for one of these offenses a person could face punishments which range from a fine, community service, to the loss of one’s driving privileges (depending on the offense) for up to a year. Arrests were made this year for Public Intoxication, Armed Robbery, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and Petty Theft.” Last year, which was described by BPD as a record year for enforcement, led to 423 arrests and citations. See last year’s Berkeleyside story describing the annual enforcement effort. Read more about drinking at Cal.
ROBBERY AT ASHBY BART A BART patron was robbed of a Samsung Galaxy Edge 6 Plus on Aug. 31 at 4:14 p.m., the BART Police reported. The estimated value of the phone was $600. No arrests were reported.
AUTO BURGLARIES AT NORTH BERKELEY STATION Authorities got reports of two auto burglaries at the North Berkeley BART station Aug. 31, according to the BART Police. In one case, a 2003 VW Passat was broken into shortly before 1 p.m. The car stereo was taken. In the later case, a thief smashed the rear passenger window of a blue 2009 Honda Fit to steal a $20 black shoulder bag that held miscellaneous papers. The burglary happened between 5:50 p.m. and 8:40 p.m.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER ROBBERY, ASSAULT A man identified as elderly was walking through Strawberry Creek Park earlier this summer when another man punched him and stole his wallet. Police identified Albert Adams, 42, as the culprit. He was arrested at about 8:30 a.m. July 15 at Civic Center Park, according to court papers. Adams remains in custody with a bail of $320,000, according to sheriff’s office records. He has been charged with robbery — identified as a violent felony and a crime against the elderly — as well as elder or dependent adult abuse. Adams has two prior convictions, for burglary and attempted grand theft of personal property. His next court date is not listed in records online.
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AC TRANSIT LAUNCHES “TIP NOW” APP AC Transit has launched an app that allows riders to submit anonymous tips to law enforcement, as well as upload photos and video: “The app encourages AC Transit riders to be an extra set of on-board eyes and ears helping to promote rider safety and system security. Using simple icons, the TipNow-AC Transit app enables riders to report disruptive behavior, theft, suspicious activity, vandalism or unattended packages. TipNow-AC Transit is a one-year pilot program.” Learn more online.
The week in review: Aug. 19-25
Friday, Aug. 19
At about 9:30 a.m., BPD got reports of a prowler in the 2400 block of Virginia, followed by a similar report in the 1600 block of Euclid a short time later. A reader described to Berkeleyside “8 cop cars on Euclid between Virginia and Hilgard. With their guns out.” According to BPD, citizens helped police track the prowler’s flight path through the block and nearby backyards. Two people were detained but ultimately no one was arrested. BPD said, according to one report, a man had been masturbating in a common area of an apartment building. The case remains under investigation. “The citizens were helpful,” said watch commander Lt. Andrew Rateaver. “It is important for residents to know what is going on in their area.” (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
A robbery was reported at 10:10 p.m. in the 1000 block of Gilman Street.
Saturday, Aug. 20
A thief burglarized a blue 1992 Chevy Silverado between 3 p.m. Friday and 12:50 a.m. Saturday while it was parked at the North Berkeley station, according to the BART Police: “An unknown suspect gained entry by unknown means. The vehicle’s ignition was tampered with and several items of personal property were taken from the interior.”
Sunday, Aug. 21
Police arrested Jessie McAllister, 22, of Oakland after a robbery at 12:23 a.m. at Fulton and Stuart streets, according to BPD Lt. Alyson Hart. Hart said three people were robbed by a trio with a gun. At 1:20 a.m., police arrested McAllister. Hart said he matched the description of one of the suspects. The two other robbers remain out of custody. Detailed suspect descriptions were not available. McAllister is being held at Santa Rita Jail but no information has been posted about possible robbery charges. Two home burglary violations from the past are listed, however. McAllister’s next court appearance was not listed, and neither was his bail. He’s been arrested in Berkeley before, according to prior reporting on Berkeleyside.
Just after 8 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a call in the 2800 block of Derby Street about a person down on the ground. Said Lt. Andrew Rateaver, “Initial reports put the incident somewhat west of this location, but arriving units determined the incident to be on or near the public sidewalk in the 2800 block of Derby. Officers and paramedics soon located a lone male, down, and deceased.” BPD and a coroner’s office representative, Sgt. Paul Graves, said the death appeared preliminarily to have been caused by a natural event. The man’s name was not available because next of kin had not been notified. Graves said the man was 78 years old. Berkeleyside readers asked for more information due to the police response. Said Rateaver: “At the height of the response, there were Fire and EMS units, and as much as 8 officers on the scene, conducting interviews, obtaining and viewing video tape and determining relevant facts. Our Crime Scene Unit was part of this response.”
A felony sexual assault was reported at 9:19 a.m. in the 1500 block of Woolsey Street.
Police were called to the Berkeley Marina just before 11 a.m. for a report of a man with a gun but no one ultimately was located, said Rateaver.
A man who tried to rob a woman in Berkeley, after they arranged online to meet in a downtown parking garage, pepper-sprayed her before fleeing the scene, authorities report. UCPD said the attempted robbery took place at about 1:30 p.m. in the parking garage at 1995 University Ave., between Bonita Avenue and Milvia Street. The building also houses UC Extension. Read more on Berkeleyside.
A Berkeleyside reader reported hearing the following paraphrased report over the police scanner: “At Berkeley Bowl. Man stole a beer, drank the beer, vomited, attempted to steal another beer. Subject is now at Oregon/Shattuck, wearing a hoodie.” He continued: “Maybe he should have stolen some fruit instead!”
Monday, Aug. 22
At 2:16 a.m., police were called to the 2000 block of Allston Way for a narcotics report. They arrested Deante Davis, 30, in relation to failure to register as a sex offender. He is being held without bail and is scheduled for a hearing Sept. 12 related to probation revocation.
Tuesday, Aug. 23
Two vehicles were burglarized while parked at the Ashby station between 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., according to the BART Police. A stereo receiver was taken from each vehicle.
The University of California Police Department is looking for four young men authorities say stole from Doe Library on the UC Berkeley campus and damaged library property. On Tuesday, UCPD put out a photograph (below) of four men, described as in their 20s, who police say went into the library June 23 at 10:20 p.m. and were responsible for trouble there. UCPD is requesting help from the public in identifying them. Detective Brendan Tinney, of the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s Threat Management Unit, can be reached by phone at 510-642-3658 or by email at email@example.com. The 24-hour number for UCPD is 510-642-6760. View the photo larger. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
A UC Berkeley employee reported the theft of her 1990 burgundy Honda Accord between 7:55 a.m. and 5 p.m. from the 1800 block of Fourth Street (Shared Services). The case is under investigation, UCPD reports.
A felony sexual assault was reported at 5:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Seventh Street.
Wednesday, Aug. 24
At 1:50 a.m., BPD reports there was an armed robbery at Blake and Dana: “Two suspects walked up behind the two victims and demanded their property while pointing handguns at them. The victims gave the suspects a wallet and cellphone,” and the robbers fled northbound on foot on Dana. The robbers were described as 25-year-old black men with thin builds, 5 foot 9 to 5 foot 11. They wore black hooded sweatshirts and jeans and were armed with handguns. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
Police responded to the 2000 block of Addison Street at 3:32 a.m. in connection with a narcotics call. They arrested Chad Elleson, 40, in connection with two felony charges — trying to take a gun from a police officer and resisting arrest. These may have been prior charges, however, because sheriff’s office records online show Elleson as having already been sentenced. No upcoming hearing information is listed, and neither is an amount for bail.
A felony sexual assault was reported at 6:30 a.m. at Ninth and Gilman streets.
A felony assault or battery was reported at 7:55 a.m. at Hearst Avenue and Grant Street.
An alert resident told Berkeleyside about an apparent mail theft at Woolsey and California streets. The tipster told us he saw a man driving a black Acura Integra (photo below) when his female passenger jumped out and grabbed a handful of mail from two houses. The tipster shouted at them and they drove off. BPD has been alerted. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
Police arrested 50-year-old Kurt Kaumens at noon in connection with a 2015 commercial burglary case (no location was listed). Kaumens is no longer in custody, according to sheriff’s office records online. His next hearing date was not listed.
A reader asked Berkeleyside: “What’s going on with all of the cops on Bancroft and Telegraph?” UCPD Sgt. Sabrina Reich said, at about 1 p.m., staff in the Unit 3 student housing complex, at 2400 Durant, “reported a suspicious person who was seen in multiple residence halls.” UCPD officers tried to speak with the man but he ran into a nearby apartment complex where UCPD was able to detain him. Police identified the man as 25-year-old Wilford Hooper of Hercules. Reich said Hooper was found to be in possession of property stolen from Unit 3, and was arrested on suspicion of burglary, probation violation and a warrant out of Contra Costa County. He was taken to Berkeley Jail. He is being held in connection with prior misdemeanor indecent exposure, in addition to the other violations, on $220,000 bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Sept. 13. (Much of this item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
The Brower Center was evacuated, and BFD told Berkeleyside there was a fire alarm: “The alarm activated as an ‘accidental false’ due to someone having opened an inspector test valve on the automatic sprinkler system. This caused the fire alarm to think a sprinkler head had activated. No issues on scene.” (Connect with Berkeleyside on Facebook to see these reports as soon as they’re posted.)
Elizabeth Norris told Berkeleyside, “This afternoon, two men came into our store (vintage european posters at 4th and Allston), pretended to be interested in purchasing a vintage poster, came into the back office, caused a fracas and stole an iPhone. Apparently they did the same at Design Within Reach. At least they have good taste in stores.”
A robbery was reported at 10:17 p.m. in the 1400 block of Shattuck Avenue.
Thursday, Aug. 25
Police arrested 31-year-old Elijah Hooker in connection with a home invasion robbery, criminal threats, assaulting a first-responder and other violations. Hooker was arrested just before 10 a.m. According to BPD’s calls for service log, there was a call at 8:30 a.m. in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way for a disturbance identified as disorderly conduct. (Berkeleyside has requested additional information.) Hooker is being held at Santa Rita Jail on bail of $135,000. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Monday, Sept. 12, and has been charged with home invasion robbery in concert, battery with injury on a peace officer, assault upon a peace officer or firefighter, criminal threats, second-degree commercial burglary, grand theft of real property, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance with a prior. He could be sent to prison if convicted.
A robbery was reported at 3:30 p.m. at Milvia Street and Durant Avenue.
Police arrested 26-year-old Dawn Carraway at Shattuck Avenue and Kittredge Street after an assault or battery at 4:40 p.m. She was arrested on suspicion of causing great bodily injury to an elder or dependent adult, and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. Carraway has been arrested in Berkeley previously in connection with similar cases. She is being held with a bail of $40,000 at Santa Rita Jail and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Oct. 13, according to sheriff’s office records online. Four prior cases, related to arson and assault or battery incidents, are included in her Inmate Locator record. According to BPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel, Carraway pushed the victim without provocation and caused the victim to fall down, causing visible injuries. No further information was provided.
Berkeley public safety data resources
- The Berkeley Police Department on CrimeMapping and CrimeView Community
- The UCPD crime log, also 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.
Crash in West Berkeley causes moderate injuries to 3 (09.03.16)
Man, 58, victim of attempted robbery in Berkeley (09.02.16)
Authorities respond to burning car in Berkeley Hills (09.02.16)
Man taken to Highland with serious injuries after road rage assault; driver arrested (09.01.16)
Officers question leadership of Berkeley police chief (08.31.16)
Carjacking of older Berkeley woman ends with arrests (08.31.16)
Berkeley music collective honors slain rapper ‘AyeGee’ (08.31.16)
Stolen truck owners lead alleged thief into CHP custody (08.30.16)
Man charged after attack, threats outside police station (08.30.16)
Berkeleyside and Wildfire team up for safety alerts (08.30.16)
After crash, Berkeley fifth-grader rides to school in style (08.30.16)
Update: Missing man found by Berkeley police officer (08.29.16)
Police raid and drug bust, Northside prowler, library vandals sought (08.26.16)
Berkeleyside provides exclusive coverage of many Berkeley crimes. We welcome community tips about public safety issues and other newsworthy issues via email, Twitter or Facebook. Please alert us in advance if your tip is anonymous.