The following crime log was prepared by the Berkeley Police Department and represents a sampling of crime in the city this week.

Crime/Incident Briefs/Blotter – June 20th to 22nd

Auto Burglary – 1800 Block of Prince Street

On Monday, June 20, 2011, at approximately 11:22 a.m., a Vacaville man called to report that construction equipment had been stolen from his 2000 gray Chevy Silverado pick-up truck. He left his truck that had an unlocked camper shell with alarm that did not work parked in the 1800 block of Prince while he went to fetch something. He told the BPD officer he left the truck for less than 15 minutes when an unknown suspect or suspects accessed the camper shell area and stole a couple tool bags and boxes. The Vacaville man told the BPD officer that he would send a complete inventory and value of the items to be added to the report.

Recovered Stolen Vehicle – 1600 Block of Tenth Street

On Monday, June 20, 2011 at about 2:13 p.m., a BPD patrol officer ran the license plate of a car in the 1600 block of Tenth Street in northwest Berkeley. The computer check confirmed that the 1995 Green Infiniti J30 had been entered into SVS – Stolen Vehicle System. It had been stolen by an unknown suspect or suspects in the City of Oakland. The officer “recovered” the car and removed the license plate from SVS.

Identity Theft/Fraud – 800 block of Peralta Avenue

On Monday, June 20, 2011 at 3:45 p.m., a community member called to report unauthorized charges on his VISA/Debit card. He told the BPD officer who took the report that he was doing some on-line banking when he noted two fraudulent charges in a department store in southern California. The community member has his card in his possession.

Identity Theft/Fraud – 2700 block of Belrose Avenue

On Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 8:43 a.m., a community member reported being a victim of Identity Theft by an unknown suspect. He told the BPD officer that he had received a call from his bank, but it was a branch in the State of Georgia. The bank representative said a male suspect had come into the bank with photographic identification with the Berkeley man’s name and attempted to withdraw over $3,000. The bank representatives became suspicious as the signatures did not match so they called the Berkeley man to verify the transaction. The suspect waited for a short while then fled the bank. The victim has closed his accounts with his bank and wanted documentation for an Identity Theft case.

Auto Burglary – 1800 Block of Alcatraz Avenue

On Tuesday, June 21, 2011, a Berkeley man called BPD at about 9:30 a.m. to report that someone had broken into his car over night. He had parked and locked his 2010 white Nissan Altima  at approximate 11:30 p.m. on Monday the 20th leaving a computer bag and contents inside the car. When he went to get in the car in the morning, he saw that the passenger side window was smashed and his bag was gone. An unknown suspect or suspects made off with the man’s black Dell L1500 laptop computer with black bag containing many credit cards, ID, check book and cash. The officer advised him to close all of his accounts and also offered some crime prevention advice as well.

Strong Armed Robbery – Durant and Dana Streets

On Tuesday night, June 21, 2011, a 21 year old man told BPD officers that he was walking east on Durant Avenue approaching Dana Street at about 9:20 p.m. texting a family member on his iPhone 4. A male suspect approached him from his right side, grabbed the iPhone from his hand and threatened him. The suspect then got into an unknown make or model black car and the car fled south on Dana Street and out of sight. The victim was not physically injured during the robbery incident.

Residential Burglary – 3200 block of Shattuck Avenue

On Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 11:20 p.m., a 22-year old Berkeley woman called to report a burglary of her silver Mac Book Pro laptop computer. She and her roommates had left the home in the 3200 block of Shattuck Avenue at about 6:00 p.m. and she told the officer that her computer had been on her desk near an open window. When she returned at 11:00 p.m., she discovered that the screen of the window had been cut and the computer was missing. The BPD officer determined that it  would have been easy for a suspect to reach in through the window and grab the laptop, once the screen had been cut.

Domestic Violence – Throughout City of Berkeley

Between Monday, June 20 and Wednesday, June 22, BPD officers responded and managed nine (9) incidents of Domestic Violence, the majority resulting in an arrest and/or case sent to the District Attorney (DA) for review and charging consideration.

Possible Abandoned Autos – Throughout City of Berkeley

Between Monday, June 20 and Wednesday June 22, BPD officers were assigned and responded to 27 reports of possible abandoned autos. The CA. Vehicle Code requires by law that any given car must be moved every 72 hours. The officer must document the 72 hours him or herself to be legally appropriate and ethical. Officers cannot rely on the word of a community member that a car has been parked “for days” or “weeks.” Many community members believe that they “own” the parking spaces in front of their homes. Although that may be nice and/or convenient, the streets are public property, therefore any car can park in front of our homes unless it is beyond 72 hours or is a public hazard of some sort – missing engine, wheels, leaking fluids or the like. There are provisions in the law for authority to tow these hazards as assessed and determined by the BPD officer.

Robbery via Handgun – Dwight Way & Etna Street

On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at about 11:45 p.m. a 19 year old college student was at Dwight Way and Etna Street. Three male suspects pushed him to the ground while pointing a gun at him. The suspects took the young man’s Apple iTouch, a Blackberry cell phone, a man’s wallet containing cash, miscellaneous ID and credit cards. One of the suspects punched him in the throat while another suspect hit him on the forehead with the gun. The three then fled on foot southbound on Etna Street. The victim sustained pain to his throat and a cut, bruising and swelling to his forehead, but did not wish medical treatment at the scene. The victim was had gotten ice and was applying it to his injuries. Officers did area checks but did not locate the suspects.

Thefts (under $950)

June 22, 2011 3:56 p.m.     2700 block of Bancroft Way – unlocked door – cell phone

June 22, 2011  11:44 p.m.  2800 Shattuck Avenue/Group Care home – unattended – $180

June 21, 2011 11:35 a.m.   900 block of Heinz Avenue – wallet from unattended shopping cart

June 21, 2011  9:29 a.m.   2400 block of Ridge Road – locked white Jamis brand, Beatnik model, single speed bicycle

June 21, 2011  7:41 a.m.   1500 block of Julia St –  unlocked/unattended  grey Jaguar brand mountain bike

June 20, 2011 7:38 a.m.    2000 block of Francisco Street  – unlocked/unattended  black mountain bike, 21 speed, box frame
June 20, 2011 7:27 p.m. 2000 block of Parker Street – attached to car – Rear CA. License Plate

June 20, 2011 1:31 p.m.    1400 block of Ninth Street – unattended – misc metals, including; 2 bicycle frames, 1 aluminum antenna base w/ servos.

June 20, 2011 12:12 p.m.  2500 block of Ninth Street – possible pickpocket – men’s wallet with contents

BPD Drug Task Force Activity

On June 22, 2011 BPD DTF Officers stopped a car in South Berkeley for a vehicle code violation – brake light out   A records check of the driver revealed a no-bail drug warrant for his arrest. Officers arrested a 46 year old Oakland Man.

On June 22, 2011 BPD DTF Officers were patrolling an area where there have been recent gunshots heard by community members and a shooting just over the border in Oakland. They spotted a man at 63rd and Idaho Streets that they knew had a warrant. They confirmed the $20K drug warrant and arrested the Vallejo man.

On June 22, 2011 BPD DTF made a traffic enforcement stop of a car at San Pablo Avenue and Allston Way.  The officers saw crack cocaine in plain view inside the passenger compartment of the car while they were talking to the driver.  Officers arrested the driver for Possession of Cocaine Base (crack cocaine) for Sale – 11351.5 H&S. They seized 27 individually wrapped pieces and $534 in cash in a variety of denominations. They arrested an Oakland man.

City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) officers not only respond to incidents of crime but a wide variety of issues and incidents, including traffic collisions which are ultimately civil matters, not criminal unless there is a crime involved such as DUI or Hit & Run, tree branches falling on cars, advice calls, welfare checks, animal matters, noise complaints and mental health challenges such as attempted suicides or calls for help.

This list is just a small sampling of calls for service and crime handled by BPD. In addition to those officers of all ranks that you may or may not see on patrol, there are officers, detectives and other staff working “behind the scenes” both in the Ronald T. Tsukamoto Public Safety Building (PSB) and in the field each day. There are regular surveillances being done, special enforcement projects, traffic enforcement projects, search warrants, parole and probation searches executed and much crime follow-up investigation and analysis.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...