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The victim works at Thousand Oaks Elementary School

A staff member at Berkeley’s Thousand Oaks Elementary School was assaulted while walking to her car just after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday Jan. 22.

She was approached from behind, sprayed in the face with pepper spray and her purse was stolen, according to the school’s Principal, Gayle Hughes, who sent out a note to the school community dated Jan. 23.

The victim’s car was parked on Catalina Avenue, two blocks away from the school which is on Colusa Ave. at Tacoma in north Berkeley.

The note goes on to describe the suspect as a Caucasian female with shoulder-length, straight, reddish hair and brown or black plastic glasses. “She was approximately 5’3” tall and was of average build. Immediately after the attack, a late model white SUV, without model/brand markings (possibly a Tahoe) drove up and the attacker jumped inside and sped away. The license number included “15M” and possibly an “H”.”

“Aside from the emotional trauma and pepper spray, [the victim] counts herself fortunate that nothing else happened,” Principal Hughes wrote. “No one else was on the street at the time.”

The case is under investigation by the Berkeley Police Department.

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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...