This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
From Feb. 11-17, there were reports of seven robberies, 12 burglaries, 20 assaults or batteries, three weapon-involved calls and four sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 19 stolen vehicles, 16 disturbances and 17 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A robbery, a sex crime, two domestic assaults, two burglaries and a vehicle theft were reported to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). The following items represent a sampling of calls; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period. Arrested individuals listed in this blotter are presumed innocent.
Thursday, Feb. 11
There were two disturbance calls, at 4:42 a.m. in the 2400 block of Warring Street, and at 8 a.m. at Ashby Avenue and Seventh Street.
A 22-year-old female student told UCPD she saw an unshaven man expose himself on Upper Sproul Plaza at 1:30 p.m. near the Golden Bear Restaurant. He looked 20-30 years old, and appeared 5 feet 9, with a heavy build and light-colored hair. He was carrying a dark canvas bag. The case is under investigation.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 5:45 p.m. in the 2800 block of Telegraph Avenue; at 7:15 p.m. at Parker and Fulton streets; and at 9 p.m. in the 1100 block of Grizzly Peak Boulevard.
There was a robbery at 7:05 p.m. in the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
From the BART Police: A female victim said she was walking near the northwest portion of the BART station near Adeline Street and Ashby Avenue, at about 7:10 p.m., when a 17- to 20-year old male approached her from behind and grabbed her iPhone. She struggled with him, but he managed to grab the phone before fleeing. She chased after him for 2-3 blocks, but lost sight of him, then walked to a friend’s home nearby to report the robbery to police. Police said the robber was described as black, approximately 6 feet tall, with a medium build. He was wearing a purple shirt.
There was a felony sexual assault at 9:10 p.m. in the 2500 block of Haste Street.
Police responded to a call at about 9:25 p.m. on Scenic Avenue near Virginia Street. Said Officer Jennifer Coats, BPD spokeswoman, in response to a question from Berkeleyside, a cyclist went down in the street, but was unable to tell police what caused it: “At the time the officer spoke with him, he was unable to recall specifically what happened. There were no witnesses or other callers to the incident.” The rider, a 25-year-old Berkeley man, was taken to the hospital for his injuries, which did not appear to be life threatening.
Friday, Feb. 12
There was a commercial burglary at 7:20 a.m. in the 2900 block of Claremont Avenue.
There were two felony assaults or batteries, at 10:32 a.m. at Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue, and at 12:09 p.m. in the 1700 block of Oregon Street.
In the first incident, police arrested 21-year-old Mackenzie Richardson. She is no longer in custody and is scheduled for preliminary examination Tuesday, March 1. She is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and committing a felony while on bail.
In the second case, a 17-year-old male with a baseball bat who authorities say randomly attacked a jogger, causing potentially life-threatening injuries, then climbed on top of the Grove Park baseball field backstop, ultimately surrendered to officers who focused on talking him down. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There were four disturbance calls: at 11 a.m. in the 1600 block of Woolsey Street; at 2:24 p.m. at Parker Street and San Pablo Avenue; at 6 p.m. at Hearst Avenue and California Street; and at 11:15 p.m. at Cedar Street and Shattuck Avenue.
Two vehicles were stolen, at noon in the 1900 block of El Dorado Avenue, and at noon in the 1300 block of Neilson Street.
There was a home burglary at 4 p.m. in the 1300 block of Ada Street.
There was an arson call at 6:30 p.m. in the 2400 block of Ellsworth Street.
There was a call involving a gun at 11:50 p.m. in the 1400 block of San Pablo Avenue. Police received numerous calls about possible gunfire. According to scanner traffic, police found shell casings at San Pablo and Camelia Street. A man in a light-colored 90s-model sedan fired the shots. Witnesses told police the man had been firing into the air. Spokeswoman Coats said police received reports of a shirtless man armed with a gun. Arriving officers detained a man later identified as 33-year-old Tommy Hubbard of Oakland on suspicion of shooting at an unoccupied dwelling or vehicle. Police also found a business in the 1300 block of San Pablo that had a window damaged by gunfire. Police also arrested Hubbard on suspicion of carrying a loaded firearm and willfully discharging a firearm in a negligent manner. Hubbard is no longer in custody but is scheduled for a pretrial hearing April 18.
Saturday, Feb. 13
Three vehicles were stolen: at midnight in the 2200 block of McKinley Avenue; at 4 p.m. in the 3000 block of Hillegass Avenue; and at 5 p.m. in the 900 block of Regal Road.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 3:04 a.m. in the 2500 block of Shattuck.
There was a home burglary at 8 a.m. in the 2400 block of Fifth Street.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 10:13 a.m. in the 200 block of Shattuck, and at 7:48 p.m. in the 2700 block of Milvia Street.
At about 12:30 p.m., a Cal employee reported to UCPD the theft of a Caterpillar Petersen EZGO golf cart from Memorial Stadium. The golf cart was valued at $800, and the theft took place between Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. and Jan. 25 at 7 a.m.
There was a disturbance call at 1:23 p.m. in the 2300 block of Shattuck.
There was a felony assault or battery at 7:53 p.m. at Seventh and Page streets. Readers told Berkeleyside that six or seven police cruisers rushed to the area to investigate, and Berkeleyside asked police for additional information. Lt. Andrew Rateaver said officers made an arrest on a brandishing violation, as well as court-filed charges (warrants and probation violations). Rateaver added: “The robust response likely may have been due to initial reports of gunfire. This turned out not to be the case, but rather an object being thrown by the suspect at the victim, and hitting an automobile instead. This may have sounded like a gunshot.” He noted that officers were in the same area for a call the prior day “where there was indeed gunfire. Likely officers had that on their minds when responding to yet another call of gunfire in the same area.”
There was a robbery at 8:05 p.m. in the 3300 block of Adeline Street.
At about 9:30 p.m., UCPD responded to a report of an armed robbery on the north side of the Valley Life Sciences Building. A 15-year-old girl was walking near the building when a man approached her and robbed her with a knife. UCPD searched the area but could not locate the suspect. Police said the man was in his late 20s to early 30s, 5 feet 10 to 5 feet 11 inches tall with a thin build, and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark clothes.
There were two second-response calls, at 10:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Derby Street, and at 11:18 p.m. in the 2700 block of Durant Avenue.
Sunday, Feb. 14
There was a home burglary at midnight in the 1600 block of Woolsey Street.
There were three disturbance calls: at 2:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Alcatraz Avenue; at 3:42 p.m. in the 1300 block of Sixth Street; and at 9:10 p.m. in the 2100 block of Center Street.
There was an arson call at 6 a.m. in the 1600 block of Woolsey. Said Interim Fire Chief Donna McCracken, in response to a question from Berkeleyside: Firefighters were dispatched to the 3100 block of King Street for a report of flames seen and a smoke alarm sounding. The Communications Center dispatched a full first-alarm assignment: three engines, one truck and one medic unit, plus one additional medic unit, as well as a battalion chief. Firefighters determined the location was actually a 2-story apartment building with smoke coming from the front door in the 1600 block of Woolsey. McCracken said three people were reported to live in the apartment, but none had come outside: “Our fire crews immediately went into ‘rescue mode’ – conducting a rapid primary search for possible occupants. At the same time, another crew went into ‘fire attack’ mode – taking a hose line interior to rapidly locate the fire and knock it down.” Firefighters didn’t find any of the residents, and it turned out none of them were home. Crews did find a burning mattress and extinguished it. The cause is under investigation by the Berkeley Fire Prevention Division. No injuries were reported. Damage was estimated at $10,000.
There were three vehicles stolen: at 7 a.m. in the 2400 block of Durant; at 10 a.m. in the 2500 block of Dwight Way; and at 3:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of San Pablo Avenue.
Monday, Feb. 15
There was a home burglary at 4:23 a.m. in the 600 block of Addison Street.
There were three disturbance calls: at 8:03 a.m. in the 1300 block of Delaware Street; at 5:15 p.m. at Dwight Way and College Avenue; and at 8:10 p.m. in the 1600 block of Russell Street.
There were two robberies, at 8:25 a.m. in the 1600 block of Cedar Street, and at 11:39 p.m. at Shattuck and Channing Way.
At about 3 p.m., police received a report of a hit-and-run collision, with the driver seen running from the vehicle, near Cedar Street and San Pablo Avenue, said spokeswoman Coats: “It appears the vehicle was stolen out of Oakland earlier that day. The vehicle collided with several parked cars on Cedar Street. The driver got out of the vehicle and ran east on Cedar. Officers conducted an area check but were unable to locate the suspect.”
There were two commercial burglaries, at 3:26 p.m. in the 2700 block of Shattuck, and at 5:30 p.m. in the 500 block of Southampton Avenue.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 6 p.m. in the 2400 block of Fifth Street; at 8 p.m. in the 1900 block of Oregon Street; and at 10 p.m. in the 1400 block of Kains Avenue.
There was a felony assault or battery at 10:24 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph Avenue.
Tuesday, Feb. 16
Three vehicles were stolen: at 7 a.m. in the 1000 block of Heinz Avenue; at 8:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of Dohr Street; and at 10 p.m. in the 2700 block of Acton Street.
There were three robberies: at 8:33 a.m. in the 3000 block of Telegraph; at 9:30 a.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck; and at 2:15 p.m. at Hearst Avenue and Grant Street.
Police arrested 40-year-old Sophia Barrett in Richmond on a warrant connected to a 2012 robbery investigation, as well as burglary and grand theft. She remains in custody with a bail of $200,000, and is scheduled for further pretrial Tuesday, March 1.
There were two misdemeanor sexual assaults — at 12:20 p.m. at Shattuck and Center, and at 11:10 p.m. at Durant Avenue and Ellsworth Street — and a felony sexual assault at 11:26 p.m. in the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue. Police later said Asian woman were being targeted from three “similar” sexual assaults in less than a week in the Southside neighborhood. Berkeleyside was the first outlet to report the possibility of a pattern.
At about 12:30 p.m., a reader was concerned when he saw “the UC bomb squad truck fly” at University and MLK, “lights blazing.” He asked Berkeleyside to find out more. BPD said it wasn’t a Berkeley call. UCPD responded on Twitter to explain that “calls for our bomb truck come from far and wide. Up to 22 other agencies.” Read more about the UCPD Bomb Squad.
Police arrested Joshua Anderson, 30, of Concord after he and a companion allegedly tried to sell four of the stolen books — worth an estimated $13,000 — to Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue around 1 p.m. Anderson, who had two outstanding warrants for his arrest, was arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property. Authorities say the stolen books were part of a larger haul: About 30 boxes of rare books worth an estimated $350,000 that were in a van stolen in Oakland earlier that day. Read more on Berkeleyside. Anderson remains in custody with a bail of $50,000 and is scheduled for preliminary hearing Thursday.
There was a disturbance call at 2 p.m. in the 1600 block of Alcatraz Avenue.
There was a home burglary at 6:15 p.m. in the 1700 block of Vine Street.
There was a shooting at 7:34 p.m. in the 1100 block of Parker Street. Police responded to San Pablo Avenue and Parker after reports of gunfire, with injuries to three males. Police further identified the victims as teenage Berkeley residents. The 16- and 18-year-olds received serious injuries. The 19-year-old’s injuries were described as non-life-threatening. Authorities ask anyone with information to share to call BPD at 510-981-5900. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. Read more on Berkeleyside.
Wednesday, Feb. 17
Shortly before 11 a.m., a first-alarm assignment was dispatched to the 1000 block of Cragmont Avenue for a report of “arcing power lines with flames seen in trees,” said Chief McCracken. The first engine company to arrive reported that there was no fire. “A section of tree branch had broken off in the wind and landed across power lines. The limb did burn and cause arcing, but there was no spread to other vegetation. This in turn tripped breakers in the system and caused some local power outage.” There was no hazard on the ground. A Berkeley Fire engine remained on scene until PG&E got there. No injuries were reported.
The CHP responded Wednesday afternoon for a report of a three-vehicle wreck on westbound Interstate 80 near Ashby Avenue. The CHP determined there were only minor injuries. The scene was cleared before 1:30 p.m.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 6 p.m. in the 1200 block of Oxford Street, and at 7:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of Stuart Street.
There was a commercial burglary at 7 p.m. in the 3100 block of Shattuck Avenue.
Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 9:45 p.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck.
There was a home burglary at 11 p.m. in the 1700 block of Addison Street.
Other recent incidents
POSSIBLE DRUGGING The University of California Police Department received a report that two female students may have been drugged at the Chi Psi fraternity, and two female students may have been drugged at the Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) Fraternity. Both incidents reportedly occurred on the evening of Friday, Feb. 19. No other information was released about the incidents, but UCPD did put out a list of safety tips, which can be seen online.
RAPE ARREST Police arrested a 30-year-old homeless man Feb. 19 on suspicion of raping a 36-year-old homeless woman sharing an alcove with him. Said spokeswoman Coats, the woman and man were sleeping in the same alcove in the 2000 block of Center Street at about 12:40 a.m. when the man woke up and sexually assaulted the woman. She saw an officer down the street and “was able to use a ruse to get away from the suspect.” She walked up to the officer, as the man followed her, and then told the officer what had happened. Coats said the man and woman knew each other but were not intimately involved. The man was taken to Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of rape, and remains in custody in connection with a parole violation. The rape arrest was not listed. He is scheduled for a procedural hearing Tuesday, March 1.
ASSAULTS AT UCB On Saturday, Feb. 20, police received a report of aggravated assaults at Channing Circle. Two male students, ages 19 and 20, were walking when a group of males across the street began harassing them: “The group crossed the street, knocked the victims to the ground and started beating them.” One of the victims received minor injuries and the other was taken to a local emergency room. In a brief statement about the incident, UCPD said “There is no description of the suspects at this time.” BPD spokeswoman Coats provided additional information: “We are investigating an assault that occurred in the 2400 block of Warring Street.… The victims were walking in the area when a group started yelling insults towards them. When they confronted the group, the group continued to yell insults. The victims started to walk away when one of them was pushed to the ground. The second victim was punched knocking him to the ground. The suspects continued to hit the victim until they fled. No suspects have been arrested or identified at this time. We are actively investigating.” Local residents reported online that police were speaking to people on fraternity row about the case.
PARTY CRASHERS? OR WOULD-BE BURGLARS? On Feb. 21, police had a suspicious circumstances call shortly before 9 p.m. in the 2300 block of Piedmont Avenue, spokeswoman Coats said, “where a group of people knocked on the door, when it was opened [they] tried to get in. The residents closed the door and called the police.” Officers responded but couldn’t find the group. Coats added, “It is unknown if they were there to try and crash a possible party or if they had intended on breaking into the place.”
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.
Berkeley Fire responds to blaze at central Berkeley home (02.29.16)
Berkeley man takes plea deal in 2010 murder case (02.26.16)
Berkeley police arrest 3 alleged robbers, seek fourth (02.26.16)
4 catalytic converters stolen from North Berkeley BART (02.25.16)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 4-10 (02.24.16)
Police investigate apparent suicide near UC Berkeley (02.24.16)
Man injured after being struck by train on Berkeley tracks (02.23.16)
Former Berkeley High student, 20, dies in auto accident (02.22.16)
1 man cut, 1 stabbed in 2 mysterious Berkeley assaults (02.22.16)
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