Police say two men with a gun tried to rob another man in south Berkeley on Friday.
Police say two men with a gun tried to rob a third man in south Berkeley on the afternoon of Jan. 31. This photograph shows the crime scene about an hour after the robbery attempt, with police still on scene. Photo: M.C. Horng

A police officer on patrol interrupted a robbery attempt late last week in south Berkeley, which led to the arrest of two men, authorities said Monday.

A reader emailed the above-featured photograph to Berkeleyside on Thursday, and asked us to find out what happened.

Officer Jennifer Coats of the Berkeley Police Department said Monday that the incident shown in the photograph involved a robbery attempt Thursday.

Coats said that at about 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 two men with a gun tried to rob a 27-year-old man in the 1500 block of Russell Street, just east of Sacramento Street. When the robbers noticed a Berkeley police officer driving in the area, said Coats, they started to walk away. Both men were detained by Berkeley police officers, and later were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery.

Police identified the men as Jeffrey Marqell Hawkins, 28, of Long Beach and Sepehr Moarefy, 22, of Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Hawkins is being held with a bail of $150,000 on suspicion of robbery and making criminal threats. Moarefy is being held with a bail of $165,000 on suspicion of robbery, making criminal threats, committing a felony while on bail and using a firearm during a felony, among other violations.

Both men were scheduled to enter a plea at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, in Department 112 of the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. They remain in custody in Santa Rita Jail.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...