Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

Two alleged robbers have been charged and are headed to court after victims in two incidents earlier this month just south of the UC Berkeley campus identified them to police.

According to a statement released by the University of California Police Department, both robberies happened in the early morning hours of June 3.

The victim in one told police he was robbed outside the Durant Hotel, at Durant Avenue and Bowditch Street. The other victim flagged down an officer at 1:30 a.m. after he was robbed at Durant and College Avenue, one block east.

The 33-year-old man robbed outside the hotel, at 2600 Durant, told police two men had struck him with a gun. He sustained minor injuries, police said. No information was released about what was taken in that case.

The other instance, at Durant and College, involved an 18-year-old male student who said the men approached him, pointed a gun at him and searched him, taking his wallet, cellphone and other items.

UCPD officers broadcast a description of the suspects and their vehicle over the radio and alerted the Berkeley Police Department, which ultimately stopped a vehicle matching that description.

According to UCPD, both victims identified the suspects as the men who robbed them. Police said they found stolen property from both victims, along with a gun, in the suspects’ 1991 four-door gray Mercedes.

Police identified the robbers as Matthew Marquis Simpkins and Ryan Li Wong.

Simpkins, 24, is being held on $315,000 bail at Santa Rita Jail and is scheduled for a preliminary examination hearing July 2 at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. Charges against him include robbery, possession of marijuana for sale and carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.

Wong, 26, is being held on $75,000 bail at Santa Rita and is scheduled for further pre-trial Tuesday, June 17, at Wiley Manuel.

Read more about robberies in Berkeley in past Berkeleyside coverage.

Trio in South Berkeley robs teen of shoes (06.13.14)
Berkeley woman sprayed by liquid, struck, robbed (04.29.14)
3 teens arrested after Berkeley robbery, assault (04.23.14)
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)

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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...