Police arrested three people in West Berkeley earlier this week after a pair of auto burglaries at the Berkeley Marina and another auto burglary south of the UC Berkeley campus, authorities report.
Just after 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, officers saw “a suspicious vehicle” on University Avenue just west of Frontage Road, said Officer Byron White, Berkeley police spokesman. An officer who tried to stop the vehicle saw people inside “dumping items out of the window.”
White said police were able to stop the vehicle on University just east of Frontage, and determined the occupants had carried out at least two auto burglaries at the marina Tuesday, as well as another one in the Southside neighborhood at Durant and Telegraph avenues Monday. All three were arrested on suspicion of auto burglary, possession of stolen property and conspiracy.
Numerous readers asked Berkeleyside to find out more about the stop because there had been what appeared to be such a large police presence.
“I was entangled in the police blockade at University and Frontage,” one woman wrote. “I haven’t seen any articles or tweets about it, which is baffling to me, since it was rush hour on Berkeley’s busiest artery, and it seemed like every Berkeley city cop car (and maybe cops from other cities, too) was clustered there around a gold sedan.”
Another reader said he was driving south on Frontage Road toward University at about 5:30 p.m. when he saw an officer directing traffic at the intersection. No traffic was allowed to turn from Frontage onto University, he said, and there were “many cop cars all around.”
White said there was a significant police response because officers were responding to a felony crime, and because there were initial indications the vehicle might have been linked to a recent robbery. That turned out not to be the case. Officers also were concerned the driver might try to flee, he said.
The individuals who were arrested were identified as Izeyah Posey, 18, of El Sobrante; Kamia Flowers, 20, of Vallejo; and a 16-year-old girl from Hercules.
Posey and Flowers were set to have been arraigned Thursday, according to court records online. No further information about the outcome of the arraignment was immediately available. No information about the girl’s case was available due to privacy laws that protect minors.
Auto burglaries are relatively common in Berkeley, though they spiked last year. In 2017, auto burglary reports saw a 32% increase over 2016, according to the most recent crime report from BPD. Reports rose from 1,602 in 2016 to 2,107 last year.
In the past six months, there have been about 800 auto burglary reports in Berkeley, according to CrimeMapping.com, a local repository for Berkeley police data.