This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer anonymity. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — you may be the only one to get in touch. We want to know about issues of concern and rely on readers to help us stay informed.
From Oct. 22-28, there were reports of 10 robberies, 22 burglaries, 11 assaults or batteries, four weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 15 stolen vehicles, 14 disturbances and 36 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A weapons call and two vehicle thefts were reported by the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period.
Thursday, Oct. 22
A vehicle was stolen at 2:24 a.m. in the 1000 block of Euclid Avenue.
There were two calls involving a gun or other weapon, at 2:40 a.m. in the 100 block of Seawall Drive, and at 6:38 a.m. in the 2700 block of Belrose Avenue. On Belrose, police arrested a 42-year-old Oakland man sitting in a vehicle with a loaded gun just south of UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Campus. Eliexer Rodriguez, 42, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $280,000. He was scheduled for a pretrial hearing Tuesday, Nov. 10. Read more on Berkeleyside.
At 9:30 a.m., police arrested a man they say carjacked a driver in West Berkeley after breaking into the municipal animal shelter the prior night to steal a dog he’d been turned down from adopting. Read more on Berkeleyside. (This brief first appeared in last week’s blotter.)
There were four disturbance calls: at 1:31 p.m. in the 1500 block of Grizzly Peak Boulevard; at 2:30 p.m. in the 2800 block of Adeline Street; at 9:49 p.m. in the 1700 block of Franklin Street; and at 10:13 p.m. in the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue.
There was a felony assault or battery at 3:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Tyler Street.
There were two home burglaries, at 4 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph Avenue, and at 8:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Glen Avenue.
The BART Police released a brief statement about a strong-arm robbery on a Richmond-bound train at the Ashby station at about 4:20 p.m. after a man accidentally dropped his Samsung Galaxy S6 cellphone on the floor. As he reached down to pick it up, a man “slapped the victim’s hand away, grabbed the phone and fled from the station. Officers responded and unsuccessfully searched for the suspect; they were also unable to track the phone.” The victim sustained a minor abrasion to his hand during the robbery, but declined medical attention. The robbery was described as black, in his early 20s, 5 feet 7 inches tall with a medium build and light complexion. He was wearing a black hoodie and black pants. (This item first appeared in last week’s blotter.)
There was a robbery at 7:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of University Avenue. Police arrested a 57-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman in connection with the case but they are no longer in custody and charges do not appear to have been filed.
Friday, Oct. 23
Police reported that an officer used pepper spray at about 12:30 a.m. during a detention in downtown Berkeley. According to the report, an officer tried to stop a man on Kittredge Street, but the man took a fighting stance and had a metal pipe that “he raised up over his head ready to strike” the officer. Officers ordered the man to drop the pipe but he refused. One officer used a baton to strike the man’s leg. The other officer gave several warnings about the potential deployment of pepper spray, according to police. The man still wouldn’t drop the pipe so the officer used two half-second bursts of spray. According to the report, the man “was able to shield his face from the pepper spray with a sleeping bag he was holding.” The man tried to run away but police were able to handcuff and arrest him. The man’s name was not included in the report. (Police are required to report the use of pepper spray during arrests.)
There were four home burglaries: at 8 a.m. in the 1500 block of Posen Avenue; at 9 a.m. in the 2700 block of Hillegass Avenue; at 6 p.m. in the 2900 block of Otis Street; and at 11:15 p.m. at an unlisted location.
Police arrested an Alameda man at 8:45 a.m. after tying him to a shooting in West Berkeley near San Pablo Park in August that sent one man to the hospital. Jamell Tousant remains in custody with a bail of $2.37 million and is set to enter a plea Monday, Nov. 16.
A man on a motorcycle died after running into a minivan on Interstate 80 in Berkeley, the California Highway Patrol has reported. The motorcycle rider was identified as 44-year-old Kelly Wayne Dew of Benicia. His cause of death was blunt injuries, according to the Alameda County coroner’s office. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There was a commercial burglary at 9:53 a.m. in the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue.
Four vehicles were stolen: at noon in the 1500 block of Hopkins Street; at noon in the 1800 block of Short Street; at 4 p.m. in the 2400 block of Ashby; and at 6 p.m. in the 1400 block of Allston Way.
There was a misdemeanor sexual assault at 4 p.m. at Marin Avenue and Bonnie Lane.
Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 6:14 p.m. in the 1600 block of Berkeley Way.
A BART Police officer detained a man at the Ashby station at about 8:10 p.m. on suspicion of creating a disturbance. The man was found to have an active stay-away order from BART, so he was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and taken to Santa Rita Jail.
There was a disturbance at 11:21 p.m. in the 2400 block of Fulton Street.
Saturday, Oct. 24
There were two disturbance calls, at 12:22 a.m. in the 2000 block of San Pablo Avenue, and at noon in the 2400 block of Ashby.
There were two home burglaries, at 1:02 a.m. in the 2300 block of Piedmont Avenue, and at 6:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Whitaker Avenue. Police arrested Eivind Limon, 21, on suspicion of burglary. He is no longer in custody but has been charged and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Dec. 2.
There were three robberies: at 2:40 a.m. in the 1600 block of Oxford Street; at 5:55 p.m. in the 2900 block of Ninth Street; and at 10:08 p.m. at Dwight Way and College Avenue.
Four vehicles were stolen: at 11:08 a.m. in the 2800 block of San Pablo Avenue; at 3 p.m. in the 2900 block of Florence Street; at 7:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of Mabel Street; and at 8:30 p.m. at Bancroft Way and Fourth Street.
A male pedestrian was taken to Highland Hospital with major injuries after being struck by a vehicle on the Gilman Street off-ramp from westbound Interstate 80. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Sunday, Oct. 25
There was a disturbance call at 1:44 a.m. at an unlisted location. Police arrested Jesse Gilbert, a 38-year-old Berkeley resident, on suspicion of criminal threats and extortion. He remains in custody with a bail of $75,000. (Another violation that appears to have been listed in jail records in error was later removed from this summary.)
There were four home burglaries: at 2 a.m. in the 2500 block of Dana Street; at 11 a.m. in the 3300 block of Claremont Avenue; at 7 p.m. in the 2700 block of College Avenue; and at 10 p.m. in the 2900 block of Forest Avenue.
There was a robbery at 2 a.m. in the 2100 block of Dwight Way.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 10:51 a.m. in the 2300 block of Durant Avenue, and at 4 p.m. at Derby and Dana streets.
Police arrested a 25-year-old man on a warrant for stalking. He was charged with a misdemeanor and is no longer in custody but is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 14 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse. (This item was updated Nov. 25 due to new information received by Berkeleyside. The man’s name was removed because the charge was a misdemeanor.)
Monday, Oct. 26
The Berkeley Fire Department responded at 10:40 a.m. to an apartment fire on University Avenue that caused $100,000 in damage. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There was a home burglary at 5 p.m. in the 3300 block of California Street.
There was a disturbance at 5:20 p.m. in the 2900 block of College Avenue.
There were three robberies: at 5:58 p.m. in the 2900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way; at 7 p.m. at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street; and at 10:30 p.m. in the 200 block of University Avenue. Police arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the incident on MLK but he is no longer in custody and charges do not appear to have been filed. Police arrested 18-year-old Jada Douglas on suspicion of robbery in connection with the incident at Shattuck and Center; she is no longer in custody but is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Nov. 30.
A Campus Security Authority reported a sexual assault to UCPD. At about 10:30 p.m., a female student had just exited a bus near Unit 3, near Durant Avenue and Dana Street. A male started following, then began talking to, the student, who tried to ignore him. According to UCPD, “The male grabbed the victim’s arm and shirt and pushed her against the front door of Beverly Cleary Hall. The suspect said inappropriate things of a sexual nature and tried to intimidate her into letting him into the building.” The male ran away when a resident of Beverly Cleary Hall opened the door. A criminal complaint was not filed with UCPD so no additional information was available. (This item first appeared in last week’s blotter for timeliness.)
Tuesday, Oct. 27
There were two home burglaries, at midnight in the 2300 block of Shattuck Avenue, and at 5:08 a.m. in the 2500 block of Regent Street. Police arrested Michael Stoddard, 39, on suspicion of burglary and committing a felony while on bail in connection with the incident on Regent. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $90,000 and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Nov. 16. Stoddard was just arrested in connection with a home burglary in Berkeley on Oct. 7. He also was arrested in June 2014 after police said he burglarized a Budget rental car then fled on a bicycle from police before being caught.
Three vehicles were stolen: at midnight in the 900 block of Grayson Street; at 1 a.m. in the 1500 block of Ninth Street; and at 10:05 p.m. in the 2100 block of Russell Street.
There were four disturbance calls: at 2:40 a.m. in the 600 block of Spruce Street; at 5:38 p.m. in the 2700 block of Shattuck Avenue; at 7:25 p.m. at Shattuck Avenue and Kittredge Street; and at 10:10 p.m. in the 1000 block of Addison Street.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 3:02 a.m. in the 2500 block of Telegraph Avenue, and at 6 p.m. in the 2300 block of Fourth Street.
There were two robberies, at 1:08 p.m. in the 2000 block of Fourth, and at 4:25 p.m. in the 1500 block of University.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 7:40 p.m. in the 2300 block of Ninth Street.
A driver struck a pedestrian at Adeline and Essex streets at about 8:30 p.m. According to Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, a woman who appeared to be intoxicated walked into the roadway and was not in a crosswalk when a driver who was going the speed limit — northbound near the Ed Roberts Campus — struck her. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. The woman, who appeared to be about 30, was taken to the hospital and was reported to be in stable condition.
A BART Police officer stopped a man on suspicion of fare evasion at the downtown Berkeley station at about 10:50 p.m. A records check revealed that he had a $5,000 warrant for driving under the influence issued by the San Francisco Police Department. He was cited for fare evasion and taken to Berkeley Jail after being arrested on the warrant.
Wednesday, Oct. 28
There was a disturbance at 1:34 a.m. in the 1900 block of Sixth Street.
There were four home burglaries: at 2:25 p.m. in the 1700 block of Buena Avenue; at 6 p.m. in the 2700 block of Webster Street; at 6:01 p.m. in the 900 block of Hearst Avenue; and at 11 p.m. in the 2200 block of McKinley Avenue. On Buena, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman: A community member was in the area when he or she noticed a window pried open and could hear noises coming from inside. Officers arrived and found that the house had been burglarized. The suspect fled prior to the arrival of police. No arrests have been made.
A vehicle was stolen at 10:15 p.m. in the 2700 block of Ninth.
Other notable incidents
A Berkeley man, and convicted sex offender, is facing two felony charges after authorities say he tried to rape a woman in September. Charles Fowler, 50, was arrested Sept. 8 after police received a report at about 3:35 a.m. of a woman yelling for help in the 2900 block of Adeline Street. The woman told police she had met Fowler and gone to his apartment. While they were inside, she said he pushed her up against a wall and demanded sex. According to court papers, the woman became frightened and tried to leave, “but Fowler stood in front of the door and he locked it.” He then hit the woman in the face, according to police, before she was able to escape through a window. Police arrested Fowler that morning. Officers noted in court papers that he is a registered sex offender. The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged him with assault to commit a sex crime, and false imprisonment by violence. He was convicted in 2003, according to court papers, for failing to register as a sex offender. In 1995, he was convicted for a similar reason, and was also convicted in 1999 for felony possession of a controlled substance. In 1992 he was convicted in Sacramento County for committing a lewd act upon a child. Other prior convictions include second-degree robbery and corporal injury to a relationship partner. Fowler remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $735,000 and is scheduled for a procedural hearing Nov. 12.
UCPD reported a robbery via knife Friday, Nov. 6, at the north end of Spieker Plaza, between the Zellerbach Playhouse and Haas Pavilion, north of Bancroft Way. A 25-year-old male student was walking when two men approached him. One displayed a knife and demanded the student’s property. He complied and the robbers ran from the area. Police were unable to find them. They were both described as black, 25-30 years old, tall with medium builds and dark complexions. They were both wearing black beanie caps and black hooded sweatshirts and jeans. The man with the knife appeared to be about 6 feet tall, and his accomplice looked about 5 feet 9 inches tall.
See the Berkeley Police Department’s crime reports on CrimeMapping.com. See the list of calls to UC Police at Berkeley, which are also posted in brief on CrimeMapping, and UCPD crime alerts. See also Local Crime News’ regularly published list of arrests of Berkeley residents. Other sources of information on crime in Berkeley include the Police Department’s CrimeView Community and CrimeMapping.com. The Berkeley Police Department also posts “calls for service” spreadsheets — containing more data — online for those who would like to see more. New reports may be added to CrimeMapping in an unpredictable manner, so numbers may increase in the days after this report. This post does not reflect every call. See recent Berkeley crime blotters here.
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