Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

Police have arrested a juvenile near the North Berkeley BART station in connection with three robberies at gunpoint that took place over eight days in June, authorities said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Police said each of the incidents took place at about the same time and location, with victims reporting a similar person responsible.

Thursday, after the most recent incident, BART reached out to the Berkeley Police Department to collaborate to find the culprit. 

Police stepped up patrols and, at shortly after 6:10 a.m. Friday, arrested the juvenile just blocks away from the North Berkeley BART station, near Franklin and Francisco streets.

Police recovered a gun, and the juvenile was taken to Alameda County Juvenile Hall in San Leandro.

Police said no further details relating to the suspect “are available to be released.” Berkeleyside has requested the age, gender and city of residence of the person who was arrested — which commonly are available even regarding juveniles. This article will be updated if more information becomes available.

The robbery series began June 18, according to BART, when two separate gunpoint robberies took place, one at 6:45 a.m. in the west parking lot of North Berkeley BART, and then another at 6:50 a.m. in the northwest parking lot.

A reader reported both incidents to Berkeleyside, and descriptions of both incidents were posted in this site’s crime blotter last week.

The man told Berkeleyside he had been robbed at 6:40 a.m. June 18 by two males with a gun on the west side of the parking lot. He said the robbers had been loitering by one of the stairways, wearing hooded winter coats.

The victim said he had been walking up the parking lot road near Francisco Street when one of the men walked up to him and said, “Excuse me, sir, give me your cash,” and took out a handgun from his jacket, pointing it at the victim’s stomach. The victim complied and the men left.

But, according to the victim, the men then exited the lot on the north side and headed down Acton Street toward Cedar Street where they robbed another man, who was in his 50s.

The victim said the men were approximately 6 feet tall. The one with the gun had a slighter build, about 180 pounds, and the other was heavier set at around 210 pounds. One wore a solid dark-colored jacket, and the other had on a blue jacket with a yellow stripe near the shoulders.

According to BART, on Wednesday, June 25, another gunpoint robbery occurred in the west parking lot at 5:47 a.m.

“In all three cases, the suspect demanded cash and then fled on foot,” according to the BART statement. No one was injured.

Friday morning, a BART Police detective spotted someone matching the description of the suspect. He called dispatch, and a patrol unit responded and apprehended that person.

Berkeleyside has asked whether police are looking for a second suspect in the case, and will update this story if more information is provided.

“This case showed great detective work and collaboration within the department, resulting in the arrest of someone who was repeatedly targeting our passengers,” said BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey in a prepared statement. He also credited the Berkeley Police Department with assistance from its officers.

BART said the incidents are a reminder to “passengers to always remain alert and aware of their surroundings in our parking lots, even in the early morning hours.”

According to CrimeMapping.com, which collects data from the Berkeley Police Department and UCPD, there have been 111 robberies reported in Berkeley since Jan. 1. (Click the links for each department to see location and time information.) Data from BART were not readily available, but Berkeleyside has requested it, and will update this story if it is forthcoming.

As of approximately this time last year, Berkeley Police said there had been 221 robberies in the city, up from 177 for the first half of 2012; that data does not include robberies within UCPD’s or BART’s jurisdiction.

Parking lot safety tips from BART

  • Always remain alert and avoid distractions.
  • Don’t check your phone while walking or have on headphones or ear buds.
  • Program the BART Police phone number into your phone: 510-464-7000.
  • If you see something suspicious, call BART Police.
  • Have your keys out and ready to go when returning to your car.
  • Always call BART Police if you are a victim of a crime on BART property. The information you provide can help keep our system safe.

Related:
Alleged Berkeley Hills robber headed to court (06.19.14)
2 men charged after back-to-back Berkeley robberies (06.17.14)
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)

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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...