Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

Twice in just four days this month, Berkeley Police officers received reports of suspicious men in the Halcyon neighborhood in a small cul-de-sac near Ashby and Telegraph avenues.

In one of the incidents, a man was arrested after threatening to kill a woman who was returning home with her dog to the 3000 block of Halcyon Court. No one was arrested in the other case, which had happened several days prior, and police do not know whether the same man was involved in both incidents, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.

The surrounding neighborhood has been the scene of more than two dozen robberies in recent months. Coats said there have been no robberies reported in the area since Jan. 14, however, and that Berkeley officers are continuing to partner with BART and University of California police officers to conduct joint patrols that focus on robbery suppression in South Berkeley and North Oakland.

Two recent incidents have left local residents uneasy, however. They reported the following two disturbances via a neighborhood email list last week. Coats later provided official narratives via the Berkeley Police Department.

On Saturday, Jan. 18, at 12:15 p.m., a man with a knife stole a bicycle from a woman’s shed, then fled the scene. Coats said, in response to an inquiry from Berkeleyside, that the woman had walked out of her home on Halcyon Court and saw a man walking down her driveway with her bicycle, which she had kept in a storage shed.

She confronted the man, who was described as black, 5 feet to 5 feet 5 inches tall and 160 pounds, with short gray hair and facial hair, wearing a black jacket and black pants, said Coats. The woman demanded her bicycle back, and he gave it to her before walking away.

A witness working nearby then confronted the would-be thief, who fled. The witness chased the man, who brandished a knife, and continued to flee. The thief ultimately got on a bicycle and left the area. The witness tried to follow in a vehicle, but eventually lost sight of the man on the bike, said Coats.

According to one neighbor who saw the aftermath, as described on a community email list, “three men were tussling, then a black man of small build got away and ran up Prince towards Telegraph with a large black backpack, and the other two men started to chase him but then fell back.” The neighbor said the chase continued on foot south on Telegraph then west on Woolsey. Two police cars showed up shortly thereafter.

Several days later, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at about 9:30 p.m., Coats said police were sent back to the 3000 block of Halcyon Court for a report of a man making threats.

A woman told police she had come home with her dog to find a man standing in her yard.

“The victim told the suspect that her dog did not like strangers and he needed to leave,” said Coats, via email. “The suspect threatened to kill the victim.”

Fearing for her safety, the woman walked away and flagged down help to call police. She then went to a neighbor’s home where she believed she would be safer.

Police responded and found Robert Lee Jackson, 42, of Berkeley, nearby. He was detained and arrested on suspicion of making threats and probation violation. He remains in custody, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

[Correction: This story was updated shortly after publication. A knife was reported in one of these incidents, and violent threats were made in the other. Also, the neighbor who shared observations about the first incident has been identified as a member of the Bateman neighborhood, not Halcyon as previously noted.]

Berkeleyside provides exclusive coverage of many Berkeley crimes. We welcome community tips about public safety issues, and other newsworthy issues, via email, Twitter or Facebook. Please alert us in advance if your tip is anonymous.

South Berkeley robberies on the rise near Ashby BART (01.17.14)
Police join forces on Berkeley-Oakland robbery series (12.11.13)
Pregnant woman robbed at gunpoint in South Berkeley (12.10.13)
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4 Oakland teens arrested after Berkeley robbery attempt (11.07.13)

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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 of the Year...