Police search Sacramento Street, near Dwight Way, for an armed robber who robbed a laundromat, in Berkeley, on Monday, July 27, 2015. Photo: David Yee
Police search Sacramento Street, near Dwight Way, for an armed robber who robbed a laundromat, in Berkeley, on Monday. Photo: David Yee

Update, 2:10 p.m. Berkeley police have left the area around Sacramento Street after the search for an armed robber who struck a laundromat Monday morning turned up empty.

According to a 2:02 p.m. Nixle alert sent over email, “The roadways are now open and Berkeley Police are clearing the area. We would like to thank the community for the patience and understanding while we conducted the search.”

The robbery report came in at about 8:30 a.m. from the Wash and Shop laundromat, at 2450 Sacramento St., according to local residents. The robber reportedly used a gun and took cash from the business.

Police said they “arrived on scene and quickly established a perimeter. Members of our Special Response Team were utilized to conduct the search with the assistance of an Oakland Police Department K-9. The suspect was not located and the investigation into this matter continues.” 

Oakland, Alameda and East Bay Regional Park District police officers helped with the operation, and the Berkeley Fire Department was also on scene for assistance.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this case to contact BPD at 510-981-5900. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.  Scroll down to see Berkeleyside’s live blog during the incident.

Police are searching for a robber near Sacramento Street. Photo: Tomas/tvspike1

Update, 2:07 p.m. As per a Berkeley Police Nixle text alert, roadways are now open in the area of Sacramento between Channing and Dwight, and Berkeley police are clearing the scene. Lt. Andrew Rateaver said no arrests have been made. The investigation will continue.

Update, 1:50 p.m. A local resident who called the Berkeley Police non-emergency phone number for an update was told officers are “clearing the area.” Berkeleyside has requested an update and confirmation from the department.

Update, 1:12 p.m. Residents trying to return home within the perimeter are still being told they need to remain outside the area, according to scanner traffic.

The Berkeley Police Special Response Team is searching for an armed robber near Sacramento Street. Photo: Tomas/tvspike1

Update, 12:07 p.m. One local resident is now reporting on Twitter that there is a “copter now over West Berkeley near the manhunt area.”

Police continue to advise residents to stay in their homes.

According to earlier scanner traffic, the robber was spotted by local residents jumping between properties over fences and from roof to roof as he tried to evade authorities. Berkeleyside has requested an update from police.

Update, 11:30 a.m. According to the scanner, the robber was described as a black man, under 30 years old, with facial hair, 5 feet 11 inches tall with a slim build in a long-sleeved gray sweatshirt. The man reportedly appeared to have “silver teeth.” (Coats confirmed at 11:45 a.m. that the description was accurate.)

According to the scanner, the robber reportedly had a handgun.

An armored police vehicle on Sacramento Street between Dwight and Channing at 11:45 a.m. Photo: Bruce Chamberlain

Original story, 10:42 a.m. There’s significant police activity in the area of Sacramento Street between Channing Way and Dwight Way in Berkeley, and police have asked the public to avoid the area, and that residents stay inside their homes.

Local residents report on Twitter that there was an armed robbery at the Wash and Shop laundromat Monday morning, at 2450 Sacramento St. The Police Department’s Special Response Team was called in to assist with the investigation. 

As of about 10:50 a.m., police were doing a house to house search to try to find the suspect, said one local resident.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said cash was taken during the robbery but there were no injuries reported to the victim.

She said the Special Response Team is on scene and being aided in the search by a K-9 unit from the Oakland police.

According to a Nixle alert sent by email at 10:30 a.m., “The Berkeley Police Department is currently investigating a robbery that occurred in the 2400 block of Sacramento Street at approximately 8:31 a.m.”

Police say the suspect may be armed: “We are currently searching the area for the suspect who may be in the block.”

Police are asking residents to stay inside their homes: “If you see or hear anything suspicious please call 911.”

Roads have been closed, according to a Nixle alert issued by text at 10:30 a.m.

Berkeley police looked for an armed robber on Sacramento Street on Monday at about 12:35 p.m. Photos: Linda Tunner

According to the police scanner, police closed east- and westbound traffic on Dwight Way, at Acton and Sacramento, around 10:25 a.m.

Coats said Sacramento is closed between Dwight and Channing, and that the perimeter extends west from Sacramento to Edwards Street.

Coats said a description of the suspect was not immediately available.

This story was updated after publication and Berkeleyside will continue to update this post as more information becomes available. Have tips or photographs about this incident? Please email crime@berkeleyside.com.

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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...