The Berkeley Police Department reports that there have been three armed robberies of pedestrians in Northeast and North Central Berkeley in the past 16 days.

On Thursday September 30 at about 11:15 pm a pedestrian walking on Acton south of Cedar was robbed at gunpoint. The suspect was described as a black male adult in his 30s, 5’9” to 5’10” tall, 150 to 160 lbs, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. The suspect fled the scene in a ’85 to ’90 maroon or burgundy colored Toyota Corolla (or similar) sedan.  The car was driven by a second (unknown description) suspect.

On Thursday October 7, at about 10:30 pm, a pedestrian walking on Milvia near Vine was also robbed at gunpoint. The suspect description was very similar to the one from the robbery on September 30 and the suspect also fled the scene in a car driven by a second unseen suspect. In this incident, the suspect vehicle was described as a dark blue or black mid ‘80s Toyota Corolla with a “beat up” look and a “louder” muffler.

The third robbery occurred on Tuesday October 12. At about 5:45 pm, a suspect armed with a gun attempted to rob a pedestrian walking on Scenic Avenue near Cedar.  The suspect may have fled the scene in an older gray 4-door vehicle.  The suspect was described as a Latino male adult, 18 to 22 years old, 5’8” to 5’10” tall, with a medium build, wearing baggy jeans and an oversized gray T-shirt with a design on the front.

In a community crime alert, Berkeley police officer Pierantoni Casimiro said that patrol officers have the suspect and suspect vehicle descriptions, and that detectives are actively investigating the cases. Casimiro said there are obvious similarities between the first two robberies. “Our detectives are exploring the possibility that this may be a developing crime series,” he said.

The BPD is passing on the following safety tips, which were written by a South Berkeley community member who was the victim of an armed robbery:

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times… use all your senses;
  2. Be extremely careful when walking home late at night… if possible, get a ride from someone, even if it seems like an inconvenience;
  3. Don’t walk past parked cars that have people inside or have headlights on;
  4. Stay away from blocks with dim lighting or areas where trees/plants/fences provide easy cover from other vantage points;
  5. Keep the Berkeley Police cell phone emergency number (510-981-5911) in your cell phone and call it instead of 911 in case of emergency;
  6. Don’t try to be a hero.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...