Residents in the Southside neighborhood near the UC Berkeley campus experienced a rash of graffiti on vehicles and gates Wednesday morning, and 17 vehicles had their tires slashed, community members and police report.
“Multiple cars, and fences were spray painted with Anarchist symbols, painting out license plates and slogans such as, F$%# white people, Class Warfare sometime during the night,” one local resident near Hillside Avenue and Prospect Street reported on private social network Nextdoor. The messages also included “FTP,” an anti-police term. Another resident who saw the Nextdoor post brought it to Berkeleyside’s attention.
BPD Sgt. Andrew Frankel said it’s possible all the incidents are linked.
“Given the close geographic proximity of all 30 cases, and the narrow time frame in which they were committed, Detectives believe that all the cases may be related,” he said in a statement in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry submitted Sunday. He declined to comment on the nature of the graffiti, or whether police have connected the case to a UC Berkeley activist arrested early that morning about a block away on suspicion of trying to hide what police described as an illegal knife when he saw officers approaching.
Initially, police were called to the 2400 block of Hillside shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday for a report of vandalism. A man told police his vehicle had been “tagged” with spray paint.
“As he surveyed the damage to his car, he soon noticed that his partner’s car had been similarly vandalized. He saw additional graffiti on other cars, his front gate and several other gates in the neighborhood,” Frankel said.
Police who responded ultimately counted 13 vehicles and gates nearby that had been vandalized with spray paint.
About two hours later, BPD got a second report about additional vandalism: 10 vehicles in the 2300 block of Prospect Street had their tires slashed.
At about 11:15 a.m., seven more vehicles were found with their tires slashed in the 2400 block of Prospect Street.
Police are asking for help from the community to solve the case. Authorities have asked anyone with information or surveillance footage from June 27 or June 28 to share it with police to help identify the culprit or culprits.
BPD Sgt. Peter Hong can be reached at 510-981-5741.