Police arrested three teens at the downtown Berkeley BART station after a robbery and assault were reported Tuesday night. Photo: Mona Taleb-Agha
Police arrested three teens at the downtown Berkeley BART station after a robbery and assault Tuesday night. Photo: Mona Taleb-Agha

Three teens with a gun assaulted and robbed a man in his 60s in downtown Berkeley on Tuesday night, but were arrested by police a short time later, authorities said Wednesday.

Tuesday just before 9:20 p.m., the man had been walking from his vehicle in the 1900 block of Addison Street, between Milvia Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, when three males approached him and demanded his wallet, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.

One of the males was holding what appeared to be a gun. Coats said he struck the victim, which knocked the man to the ground. The teens then went through the man’s pockets, stealing cash and his keys.

The suspects fled, but witnesses followed them to the downtown Berkeley BART station several blocks east. The witnesses spoke with a BART employee and asked for police to be called, said Coats.

Officers from Berkeley and BART responded to the scene, where the three males were detained. Coats said a firearm also was recovered.

The teenagers were arrested on suspicion of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, Coats said.

The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and declined to be taken by paramedics to the hospital.

Coats said the males arrested were a 17-year-old from Richmond, as well as a 15- and 17-year-old from San Pablo. Their names were not released because they are minors.

In an unrelated incident Tuesday, police also arrested two teenagers after they reportedly burglarized a North Berkeley home. One resident said alert neighbors helped lead police quickly to the alleged offenders.

Robberies around Berkeley in 2014. (Click the map for a list of incidents.) Image: CrimeMapping.com
Robberies around Berkeley in 2014. (Click the map for a list of incidents.) Image: CrimeMapping.com

So far this year, according to Berkeley Police data, there have been 60 robberies reported in Berkeley, a steep decline compared to a similar period last year. (The University of California Police Department reported four robberies during that time period. Those data are reported and analyzed separately.)

From January through April of 2013, there were 140 robberies listed on CrimeMapping.com, a data source for Berkeley Police statistics. There were 221 robberies reported during the first six months of that year.

Overall in 2013, robberies increased 22.5% from the prior year, though they “trended downward” in the later part of the year, according to data previously released by Berkeley police. Smartphone robberies from pedestrians walking alone at night made up the largest number of Berkeley robberies.

To crack down on robberies, police deployed specialized patrols to high-crime areas, and used data to determine which areas were most likely to be hit, and when. Berkeley officers partnered with police from BART and UCPD to staff those assignments, which authorities said earlier this year had been working to cut down on crime.

In response to questions from council members during a special session in March regarding the 2013 crime report, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan said that, per capita, Berkeley’s robbery rate does tend to be “fairly high.”

But he noted that 2014 robbery reports up to that point in the year had been much lower than in the past, and that enforcement efforts were having a “very positive effect.”

Read more about robberies in Berkeley.

Police use gift cards, surveillance to track robber (04.04.14)
Robberies rise, but serious crime down overall in 2013 (03.14.14)
Alleged Berkeley wedding ring robber arrested, charged (02.05.14)
Teen arrested after cellphone robbery in Berkeley (01.31.14)
Violent threats, man with knife reports scare neighbors (02.28.14)
South Berkeley robberies on the rise near Ashby BART (01.17.14)
Berkeley pedestrian robberies up 35%, burglaries up too (09.17.13)
Berkeley crime analysis: Robberies up 25% in 2013 (05.16.13)

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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...