Berkeley police: Elmwood robberies, felon with cocaine and loaded gun, more

Berkeley police said officers recovered cocaine, heroin and a loaded gun during a traffic stop last week. Photo: BPD

The Berkeley Police Department regularly releases cases of community interest, which include incidents that involve violence or weapons or that people in the city have asked about. In 2018, BPD handled about 73,000 incidents and made more than 2,000 arrests. Every month, there are more than 300 Part 1, or serious felony, crimes in Berkeley. Arrestees are innocent until proven guilty.

FELON FOUND WITH LOADED GUN, COCAINE Police arrested a felon with a loaded gun, heroin and cocaine during a vehicle stop last week, authorities report. Officers doing traffic enforcement stopped the driver Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. at Second Street and Hearst Avenue. According to BPD, the 57-year-old man, Timothy Andre Dupree Sr., had a suspended license and “may have been impaired.” During a vehicle search, police found about 5.7 grams of cocaine (estimated by police to be about 56 doses), 0.31 grams of heroin and a loaded handgun. BPD arrested Dupree, who did not provide an address, on suspicion of drug and weapon violations. Police also arrested his passenger, a 54-year-old woman, for a warrant. She did not provide an address either. Dupree, who has past convictions for drug sales, firearm possession and DUI causing injury, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail on $135,000 bail. He was charged with several felonies related to the handgun and is set to enter a plea next week Monday. The passenger had no recent charges listed in Alameda County and was no longer in custody as of Monday.

ROBBERY NEAR WILLARD PARK Two “fit-looking” men grabbed a purse from a 75-year-old woman walking on Regent Street near Derby Street on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. The men approached the woman from behind and took her purse from her shoulder, according to BPD. The men were described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and their races were unknown, police said.

ELMWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD ROBBERIES Police got reports of two robberies last week in the Elmwood neighborhood, on Friday and Saturday about 12 hours apart.


Friday at 3:30 p.m., a 15-year-old boy was walking at Woolsey Street and College Avenue when a driver in a black sedan stopped beside him. Police said three people got out of the car and demanded his property. They reached into the boy’s pockets, took his cellphone and drove away. Police described one member of the trio as a black male, 17-20 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin or medium build, with short black hair wearing a gray jumpsuit. The other two had a “similar description,” police said, except one had darker skin and wore black jeans and the other had a medium build.

About 12 hours later, a 21-year-old woman was walking in the 2800 block of Benvenue Avenue when a driver in a white sedan “abruptly stopped” beside her: “Three suspects got out of the sedan, ran over to the woman and knocked her to the ground. The suspects tried to take the woman’s purse and repeatedly punched her.” They managed to get the woman’s phone from her purse but ran off when another vehicle approached: “Witnesses described one of the suspects as an unknown race male wearing a white sweater and dark colored jeans,” police wrote.

FOUR LAPTOP THEFTS Police described four laptop thefts over four days last week. In one, a thief took a backpack from a man who was distracted momentarily by someone asking for directions. In the other incidents, people were working on their computers in public or at cafés when the thefts took place.

Last week Monday, March 11, a 46-year-old man was waiting at a bus stop in the 2800 block of Sacramento Street, between Ward and Stuart streets, when a passenger in a vehicle motioned for him “to come over to help them with some directions.” The man left his backpack, which held his laptop, at the bus stop: “After spending the next few minutes giving directions, the man returned to the bus stop and saw that his backpack was gone,” police said.

Two of the thefts happened Wednesday. At 4:30 p.m., a 22-year-old woman sitting at a table in the downtown BART plaza was working on her laptop when someone ran up behind her and grabbed it. Witnesses described the male stranger as Hispanic (no age provided) in a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans. Five hours later, a 22-year-old man left his laptop in his backpack on the patio at La Mission restaurant, at 1255 University Ave., at Chestnut Street. Police said he came back 30 minutes later and the bag was gone.

Thursday at 2:50 p.m., a 29-year-old woman was sitting outside Rasa Caffe at 3140 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, near Fairview Street, typing on her laptop when a man came up and grabbed it. The man ran to a nearby vehicle and drove off, police said. He was described as black, 30-35 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with short black hair and a dark jacket.

4 TEENS ARRESTED AFTER ASHBY BART ROBBERY Police arrested four 16-year-old boys from Hayward on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy Friday night, authorities report. A 36-year-old woman had walked out of the Ashby BART station using her phone at about 9:20 p.m. when a stranger grabbed it from her hands and ran off. The woman chased him and he dropped the phone, police said, then pushed the woman out of the way when she tried to pick it up. As police interviewed the woman a short time later, witnesses walked up and told officers the suspect was at Stuart and Adeline streets “with several other teens that the suspect had been attempting robberies with earlier,” police said. “Officers quickly responded to the location and spotted the group of suspects — who all ran away in different directions.” Police searched the area, found all four boys and arrested them, according to BPD. Their names were not released due to privacy laws that protect minors.


CELLPHONE THEFT A 21-year-old woman was sitting on a bench on Shattuck Avenue, near Oregon Street, using her cellphone Friday at about 3:20 p.m. when a stranger ran up and grabbed it. The man ran to a black sedan and drove off. Witnesses said he was black, about 20 years old, with a thin build and short dark hair.

Police noted that “a familiar theme among many of these incidents is the theft of personal electronic devices. When travelling with your personal electronic device,” whether it’s a cellphone or laptop, “consider keeping it out of sight when possible. If you see something that you think is suspicious, be sure to say something by notifying the nearest police agency.”

ARREST AFTER SOUTH BERKELEY BURGLARY Police arrested a Berkeley man after a burglary in South Berkeley when the residents were away, police report. The burglary happened Saturday in the 1600 block of Russell Street, near California Street, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Police were able to track one of the stolen items to the 1000 block of Virginia Street, about 2 miles away: “After further investigation, officers located the suspect about a block away. While speaking with the suspect, officers learned that he was on parole and had some methamphetamine … hidden in his wallet.” Police identified the man as 48-year-old Degregg Johnson. Johnson, whose listed occupation is “student,” remains in custody at Berkeley Jail, according to booking records online. Police arrested him on suspicion of possession of both stolen property and a controlled substance, and a parole violation. Johnson is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday and is ineligible for release on bail due to the parole violation, according to booking records.

POLICE: WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER KICKING OFFICER Police arrested a 32-year-old woman Sunday morning after a disturbance at the Hotel Shattuck at 2068 Allston Way (at Shattuck). Police said they were called to the hotel restrooms after a woman refused a staff member’s request to leave and reportedly splashed water in the staffer’s face. Police said the woman then kicked an officer in the groin twice as police tried to detain her. The woman, who did not provide an address, was charged with two misdemeanors, including battery on a peace officer, according to court records online. She remains in custody and is set to enter a plea Tuesday.

Have questions about significant public safety incidents? Send tips to Berkeleyside.