Police car patrolling at night. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Police car patrolling at night. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Earlier this year, the Berkeley Police Department relaunched its monthly newsletter to inform the community about notable arrests and incidents, as well as crime prevention tips and safety resources. Along with beat maps and police contacts for each neighborhood, the newsletter highlights arrests and open cases in Berkeley from the prior month. The seventh edition of the newsletter came out in August. Scroll down for highlights.

Help from the community

Examples of the vandalism at the Grove St. mural. Photos: BPD
Examples of the vandalism at the Grove Street mural. Photo: Berkeley Police Department

Since January, there have been seven cases of vandalism to the mural at the Young Adult Project’s Grove Street Recreation Center at 1730 Oregon St. Six of the seven occasions of vandalism occurred over the weekend. Police ask anyone with information to call the Property Crimes Unit at 510-981-5737.

The city is offering a $15,000 reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for a fatal hit-and-run on July 15. The incident occurred at 5:10 a.m. on the University Avenue overpass, and resulted in the death of Berkeley resident John Patrick Miller, 46 years old. Police ask anyone with information about the case to call the Traffic Bureau at 510-981-5980, or the non-emergency line at 510-981-5900.

Photo: BPD
Photo: Berkeley Police

Several gas stations along University Avenue have been held up at gunpoint over the summer. The incidents have occurred in the late afternoon, and the suspect has been described as a 5 foot 9 light-skinned male wearing a hoodie and a white cloth over his face. Police ask anyone with information to call the Robbery Detail at 510-981-5742.

This man is suspected of punching and robbing a victim at 9th and Cedar St.. Photo: BPD
Photo: Berkeley Police Department

Police say the man pictured to the right is suspected of punching and robbing a victim on Ninth and Cedar streets on July 17 at 6:50 p.m. Police ask anyone with information about the man’s identity to call the Robbery Detail at 510-981-5742.

Noteworthy calls and arrests

ROBBERY ARREST On July 10 at 4:30 p.m., a woman was using her cell phone outside an apartment building in the 2200 block of Channing Way. She noticed a teenage boy walking by and became a bit suspicious because he appeared to be watching her. As the woman was using her phone to search the internet, the boy came up from behind, grabbed the phone and ran west on Channing. The woman pursued him, shouting, until a Berkeley Police officer spotted the woman, as well as several bystanders who were pointing in the direction the boy had run. The officer followed the boy alongside a house on Haste Street and stopped him. Police said they found a second stolen cell phone on the boy; he was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and robbery.

The gate where the suspects were first spotted. Photo: BPD
The gate where the suspects were first spotted. Photo: BPD

COMPUTER THEFT On July 26, officers Kevin Neff and Brandon Smith responded to a burglar alarm at the Berkeley Adult School at 2:30 a.m. Neff saw two men walking through the parking lot, one of whom was carrying a backpack. They exited the lot through a hole in the cyclone fence, but when they saw the officer, they turned and ran back through the fence. Neff relayed this over his radio and Smith, who was on Francisco Street, saw the suspects running toward the fence on Francisco. The suspects saw Smith and turned and ran again. At this point, several more officers had arrived and formed a perimeter around the school. Officers searched the area and found one of the suspects hiding in the backyard of a house in the 1100 block of Francisco. He was arrested without further incident. Police said the suspects had attempted to steal a cart of desktop computers.

Other information

Photo: BPD
Photo: Berkeley Police

MASS CASUALTY DRILL On Aug. 15 from 2-5 p.m., the Berkeley police and fire departments will perform training exercises at Berkeley High School at 1980 Allston Way. The training will focus on preparation for first responders who are reacting to a mass casualty incident, and residents in the area can expect to see police cars, fire trucks and associated crews in the area during the exercise.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT On Tuesday, Berkeley neighborhoods came out to celebrate National Night Out’s 30th anniversary. Neighborhoods across the country hosted block parties, cookouts, parades and vigils to heighten safety awareness and bring neighborhoods together to fight crime. More than 50 Berkeley blocks hosted potlucks, ice cream socials and had visits from local law enforcement officers and other city staff.

Image: Villas Anderson Mill
Image: Villas Anderson Mill

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH Interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group in your area? The first steps to take are assessing the levels of interest and making it clear that a Neighborhood Watch is a group of neighbors who “look out for each other’s families and property, alert the police to any suspicious activities or crime in progress, and work together to make their community a safer and better place to live.” Make sure to publicize any meetings a week in advance, elect two or more Block Captains, and fill out the application before putting up signs. Learn more in the latest police department newsletter.

SCHOOL TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS With school just around the corner, some tips for getting safely to and from school from the American Academy of Pediatrics are timely. The list includes ways to stay safe whether driving, taking the bus, walking or biking to school. Some of the tips included seatbelt safety when on the bus or in the car, helmet fittings for kids riding bikes, and plans for walking safely to and from school with or without an adult. Learn more in the latest police department newsletter.

Residents can sign up to receive the monthly police newsletter by sending an email to police@cityofberkeley.info, or to their local beat officer

24-year-old man dies after Berkeley shooting (08.01.13)
Berkeley Police: Auto burglars, dogs and more (07.17.13)
Berkeley Police: Gunshots on Harmon and more (05.15.13)
Berkeley Police newsletter: Car stop nets guns and more (04.25.13)
Police newsletter: Thieves sought, burglars caught (03.13.13)

Prior Berkeley Police newsletters:
Issue 1 * Issue 2 * Issue 3 * Issue 4 * Issue 5 * Issue 6

Eden Teller, a graduate of Berkeley High School, is a summer intern at Berkeleyside. She will be attending Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, next year.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

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Eden Teller is a freelance reporter, writer and amateur gardener. She began reporting for Berkeleyside as an intern in 2013 and continued her career with a B.A. in Media Studies from Macalester College...