2011 will wind down as one of the safest years in Berkeley. There was only one homicide this year — the March 8 slaying of Toby Eagle in the back yard of his Blake Street home — compared to five killings in 2010. This is lowest number of murders in Berkeley since 2001, according to Sgt. Mary Kusmiss.

In this partial list of recent crimes in Berkeley from Dec. 25-29, Sgt. Kusmiss also included a snapshot of what police have been doing, along with information on specific police calls. For other sources of information on crime in Berkeley see Community CrimeViewand Crimemapping.com.

Quick Facts – What BPD Officers are doing:

Between  Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 1:33 a.m. and Thursday, December 29 at 9:22 a.m., BPD officers were dispatched and handled 21 welfare checks of community members throughout the City of Berkeley.

Between Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 11:58 a.m. and Thursday, December 29 at 3:48 p.m., BPD officers made 26 pedestrian stops throughout the City of Berkeley.

Between Monday, December 26, 2011 at 12:19 p.m. and Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 11:02 a.m., BPD officers documented 11 non injury hit and run collisions.

Between Monday, December 26, 2011 at 4:22 p.m. and Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 4:16 p.m. BPD officers made 12 arrests of individuals with outstanding warrants.

Collision with Bus turns into DUI Arrest – San Pablo Avenue and Cedar Street

A 24 year old Berkeley man collided with a bus by rear ending it at San Pablo Avenue and Cedar Street. It was Sunday, December 25, 2011 at approximately 2:30 a.m. BPD officers responded, confirmed the collision and checked the welfare of both drivers. Neither the driver of the bus nor the driver of the black Ford truck was injured. The BPD case officer initiated a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) investigation as the driver of the truck displayed symptoms of alcohol intoxication. The driver failed the Field Sobriety Tests at the scene and on a preliminary breath test, he registered a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of .185. The BPD officer arrested him for 23152(a) CVC – Driving Under The Influence and booked him into the BPD Jail.

Community Complaints/Drug Activity – Arrest – 2700 block of Sacramento Street

City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Drug Task Force Officers (DTF) had received community complaints regarding an address in the 2700 block of Sacramento Street. On Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at about 5:53 p.m.,they did a knock and talk and arrested a woman with two warrants. During a search incident to her arrest, they discovered a crack pipe in her pocket. The 58 year old woman was transported and booked into the BPD Jail for violation of H&S 11364 – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and the warrants.

*Hot Prowl Residential Burglary  Interrupted – 2400 Block of Fulton Street

On Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at about 1:37 a.m., a resident awoke as two figures fled on foot out the front door. The residents told responding BPD officers that they left the front door unlocked. The unidentified suspects took a Toshiba laptop. The witness/resident described the suspects as “two (2) unknown race males, unknown ages, one was about 5’7” wearing a hoodie, the other was shorter. Nothing further.”

(* a hot prowl burglary is a term used to describe a burglary that happens when someone is home but no force or fear is used as in a robbery)

Traffic Enforcement Stop Leads to Warrant Arrest – Prince and California Streets  

BPD DTF officers made a traffic enforcement stop at Prince and California Streets of a car for a stop sign violation -CVC22450(a) on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at about 8:15 p.m. Officers did a records check of the driver which revealed a $40K warrant from City of Antioch PD and a suspended license. DTF officers arrested the 30 year old Oakland man and booked him into the BPD Jail.

Welfare Check of Possible DUI Driver turns to Arrest – 1700 block of Solano Avenue 

A community member called on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at about 1:00 a.m. to report a dark car possibly driving under the influence westbound on Solano Avenue near Colusa. The responding BPD officer found a black BMW pulled over in the 1700 block of Solano Avenue with the 32 year old San Jose man in the driver’s seat, engine running and the driver vomiting out of the open driver’s door. He was the only person in the car. The officer immediately noted that he was impaired. The driver could not successfully complete the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) and continued to vomit periodically throughout the investigation. The driver agreed to a blood test. Based on the driver’s objective symptoms of impairment, failing the FSTs, the BPD officer arrested him for 23152(a) CVC – Driving Under The Influence and booked him into the BPD Jail.

Purse Snatch/Theft From Person – Claremont Blvd and Prince Street 

On Monday, December 26, 2011 at about 4:48 p.m., a woman from Canada was walking alone in the area of Claremont Blvd and Prince Street. An unknown male suspect came up behind her and “tore” her purse from her shoulder. The suspect then ran to a waiting car that fled west on Prince Street then south on College Avenue. A community member who witnessed the crime tried to follow the suspect car, but lost it. The victim’s purse was recovered but the contents such as cash, credits cards and miscellaneous identification was stolen. The victim was not physically injured during the crime. The suspect was described as “a Black Male adult, in his 20s, 5’11” tall, thin build wearing a doo-rag on his head, dark jacket and blue jeans. He got into a possible silver Buick or Chevy type car.”

Stolen Auto – Avalon and Claremont Avenues 

A community member called on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at about 1:30 p.m. to report that her car had been stolen. She told the BPD officer who documented the case that she had parked her 2009 green Toyota Yaris at Avalon and Claremont Avenues at about noon. When she returned to use the car at 1:30 p.m., the car was gone. The officer checked many surrounding blocks but did not find the car. The officer entered the car into SVS.

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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...