This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
SNAPSHOT From May 5-11, there were reports of 10 robberies, 19 burglaries, seven assaults or batteries, seven weapon-involved calls and three sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also five stolen vehicles, 18 disturbances and 24 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. An assault and a vehicle theft were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find our May 5-11 round-up below.
Recent public safety news
POLICE ACTIVITY THURSDAY If you spotted police activity Thursday morning, May 26, in the 900 block of Carleton Street in West Berkeley, authorities say it was part of an ongoing narcotics investigation conducted by the Berkeley Police Department’s Special Investigations Bureau. Detectives were still at the scene at around 9:45 a.m. conducting an active investigation, according to BPD. A reader reporting seeing officers “wearing protective vests” who “had two men in handcuffs already, and seemed to be going in the back entrance” at Juan’s Place. Berkeleyside has asked for additional information from BPD.
COMMUNITY MEETING ABOUT SHOOTING Next week, Councilman Darryl Moore is holding a community meeting to discuss last week’s shooting at San Pablo Park. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Frances Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park, 2800 Park St. The meeting has been arranged to allow residents to “to discuss the shooting and what the city is doing to avoid any future incidents. As this is an active investigation, the Berkeley Police Department may be unable to share certain details in order to protect their investigation, but they will share what information they are able.” The victim remained in critical condition as of the last report from BPD. No arrests had been made, but police have been providing additional patrols around the park since the shooting. Read more on Berkeleyside.
DUI CHECKPOINT NETS 3 ARRESTS BPD had a sobriety checkpoint at Telegraph Avenue and Stuart last Friday that led to three arrests, 13 citations and three impounded vehicles, authorities report. There were 760 vehicles that went through the checkpoint over the 5½-hour operation. The checkpoint operation was funded through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, and California Highway Patrol officers helped “to operate the checkpoint, detect impaired drivers, and enforce laws related to vehicle safety.” One main goal of the checkpoints is to raise awareness about the perils of impaired driving. According to BPD, “alcohol-involved crashes have claimed four lives” in the city since January 2012. Last year, 19 people were injured in DUI crashes. Police were also out earlier this week, Monday night through early Tuesday morning, on San Pablo Avenue conducting stops for DUI enforcement. Read more from BPD about why they do sobriety checkpoints.
“CLICK IT OR TICKET” From BPD: From May 23 through June 5, Berkeley police officers are participating in the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign. The goal of the campaign is “to save lives by increasing seat belt usage.” This year’s “educational enforcement period” kicked off just ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, which is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Read more from BPD about the effort.
The week in review: May 5-11
Thursday, May 5
There were four disturbance calls: at 12:26 a.m. in the 2000 block of Kittredge Street; at 2:33 a.m. in the 2100 block of Dwight Way; at 6:30 a.m. in the 1500 block of Bonita Avenue; and at 9:46 p.m. at San Pablo and University avenues.
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There was a misdemeanor sexual assault at 2 a.m. in the 2400 block of Bancroft Way.
There was a home burglary at 8 a.m. in the 1600 block of Ward Street.
Police arrested two people in connection with what was listed as a weapons offense at 2:20 p.m. in the 1600 block of 50th Avenue in East Oakland. They were identified in online records as 40-year-old Jermaine West and 26-year-old Ebony Smith. West was arrested on suspicion of numerous drug and firearm possession violations, and Smith for a smaller number of drug violations and possession of an assault weapon. They are no longer in custody and are scheduled for further pretrial June 30. West’s bail was listed as $250,000, and Smith’s as $30,000.
There was a commercial burglary at 9:35 p.m. in the 1100 block of Second Street.
Friday, May 6
There were three home burglaries: at midnight in the 1500 block of Berkeley Way; at 2 a.m. in the 2300 block of Carleton Street; and at 5 p.m. in the 2400 block of Bancroft Way.
There was a felony assault or battery at 12:55 a.m. at Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way.
There were two disturbance calls, at 12:59 a.m. at University Avenue and Sixth Street, and at 9:45 a.m. in the 1200 block of University.
According to UCPD, someone used a pen to vandalize a portrait at Tolman Hall, causing $600 worth of damage at about 12:45 p.m.
There were two robberies, at 3:06 p.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck, and at 7 p.m. at Dwight Way and Ellsworth Street.
After the first incident, police arrested Robert Scott, 37, on suspicion of robbery and a number of misdemeanors. He remains in custody with a bail of $57,500 and is scheduled to enter a plea May 31 at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland, according to online records from the sheriff’s office.
A vehicle was stolen at 9:30 p.m. in the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue.
Saturday, May 7
There were two commercial burglaries, at 12:30 a.m. in the 100 block of Bolivar Drive, and at 2 p.m. in the 2200 block of Fifth Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 8 a.m. in the 2400 block of Piedmont Avenue.
There was a felony assault or battery at 9:01 a.m. at Kittredge Street and Shattuck Avenue.
There was a disturbance call at 9:25 a.m. in the 1400 block of Allston Way.
There were two home burglaries, at 10 a.m. in the 2900 block of Deakin Street, and at noon in the 2000 block of Durant Avenue.
There was a robbery at 11:22 a.m. in the 2000 block of University Avenue.
There were two calls involving weapons, one brandishing at 11:40 a.m. in the 700 block of Harrison Street, and another at 1:42 p.m. in the 1300 block of Peralta Avenue.
A man called into the BART Dispatch Center at about 3:20 p.m. “and stated that he had a stay away order from BART and wanted to be placed under arrest.” The man, who was calling from the downtown Berkeley BART station, was placed under arrest and taken to the Berkeley City Jail where he was booked for the stay-away order. Stephan Benjamin, 35, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail. He appears to have been sentenced, according to sheriff’s office records online. He’s not scheduled for another hearing until April 2017. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
Police arrested Ian Emslie, 34, on suspicion of several drug sales violation and other offenses at about 10:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Alcatraz Avenue. He remains in custody with a bail of $110,000. His next hearing date was not listed online by the sheriff’s office.
Police arrested 58-year-old Wilbert Johnson at 11:10 p.m. at Heinz Avenue and Seventh Street on suspicion of several narcotics sales violations. He was released on his own recognizance and was scheduled for a sentencing hearing June 24 at about 8:30 a.m.
Sunday, May 8
There was a commercial burglary at 12:15 a.m. in the 2200 block of Fifth Street.
Police recovered a stolen vehicle at about 12:30 a.m. at Channing Way and Eighth Street. They arrested Aaron Johnson, 22, on suspicion of vehicle theft and several misdemeanors. He remains in custody without bail at Santa Rita Jail and is scheduled for a sentencing hearing June 21.
There were two robberies, at 3:50 a.m. at Channing Way and Ellsworth Street, and at 9:50 p.m. at Ashby Avenue and King Street.
As reported by UCPD: At 4:15 a.m., BPD received a report of a strong-arm robbery about 15 minutes earlier. A 20-year-old man was walking near Channing and Ellsworth when three males approached him. They asked the man what was in his backpack. “Fearing for his safety the victim ran but was unable to get away. The suspects stole the victim’s belongings. The suspects were last seen running westbound on Channing.” The man was not physically injured. Officers could not find the suspects. The suspects were described as “unknown race males, 5’10”, bulky build dressed in black hoodies and jeans. No weapons were seen.”
There was a felony sexual assault at 8 a.m. in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 10:35 a.m. at Channing Way and Telegraph Avenue, and there was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 2:43 p.m. at Parker Street and Telegraph Avenue.
There was a home burglary at 6 p.m. in the 800 block of Heinz Avenue.
At about 8:45 p.m. a BPD officer stopped a car at Telegraph Avenue and Parker Street that had “marijuana smoke emanating from the windows,” said BPD Sgt. Andrew Frankel, department spokesman. The officer spoke with four people in the vehicle “who said they were in Berkeley to pick up medical marijuana at a dispensary.” The officer conducted a probable cause search of the car and found a loaded and concealed handgun in the driver’s purse. She said she recently purchased it online and it was unregistered, according to BPD. The 28-year-old Antioch woman, Sarah Hezlitt, was arrested. She has been released from custody and was scheduled to enter a plea earlier this month at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. Her next court date was not listed online. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
Monday, May 9
There were five disturbances: at 12:01 a.m. in the 600 block of Harvard Circle; at 8:09 a.m. in the 1200 block of Gilman Street; at 12:50 p.m. in the 1000 block of Gilman; at 12:50 p.m. in the 2000 block of Oregon Street; and at 3:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of Milvia Street.
Police arrested Jeremy Pearson, 47, on suspicion of possessing brass knuckles — a felony — as well as drug possession for sale and several misdemeanors. His location of arrest was not listed, but the arrest took place shortly before 4 a.m. He was released on bail, according to online records from the sheriff’s office. His next court date was not listed.
There was a home burglary at 4:48 a.m. in the 2200 block of Woolsey Street.
There were two robberies, at 10:30 a.m. at Russell Street and McGee Avenue, and at 6:10 p.m. at Milvia and Center streets.
Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 10:35 a.m. in the 2300 block of Telegraph.
Tuesday, May 10
There were two disturbance calls, at 2:13 a.m. at Milvia and Addison streets, and at 1 p.m. in the 1600 block of Addison.
There were three home burglaries: at 7 a.m. in the 1700 block of Berkeley Way; at 10 a.m. in the 2900 block of Stanton Street; and at 1 p.m. in the 2800 block of Fulton Street.
There were two robberies, at 10:25 a.m. in the 2100 block of Milvia Street, and at noon in the 1700 block of Fourth Street.
A homeless man was using the bathroom outside City Hall when three juveniles robbed him, as Berkeleyside previously reported. “During the confrontation, the armed suspect struck the victim with the handgun — a realistic looking plastic pellet gun — and the pellet gun broke apart from the impact. The suspects fled,” according to police. A 16-year-old was arrested. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 3:30 p.m. at Shasta and Hill roads, and at 9 p.m. in the 2100 block of Carleton Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 7 p.m. in the 1000 block of Keith Avenue.
Wednesday, May 11
Police arrested Mario Viveros, 28, at about 1 a.m. on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm in his vehicle. His arrest location was not available. He is no longer in custody, having been released on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing June 22, according to sheriff’s office records.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 4:31 a.m. in the 2100 block of Kittredge Street, and at 3 p.m. in the 2600 block of Shattuck Avenue.
There was a home burglary at 7 a.m. in the 2900 block of Wheeler Street.
There were four disturbance calls: at 7:55 a.m. in the 2100 block of Center Street; at 8 a.m. in the 600 block of Canyon Road; at 11:15 a.m. in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way; and at 1:05 p.m. in the 1300 block of Delaware Street.
There were two weapon brandishing incidents, at 9:10 a.m. at Ashby and Benvenue avenues, and at 11:12 p.m. at University and West Frontage Road.
Someone stole a green 1997 Honda Civic from University Village in Albany, UCPD reports, between 1 a.m. and about 10:40 a.m.
There was a robbery at 2 p.m. in the 1000 block of Gilman Street.
There was a commercial burglary at 5 p.m. in the 1900 block of Second Street.
There was a misdemeanor sexual assault at 5 p.m. in the 2400 block of Durant Avenue.
Berkeley public safety data resources
- The Berkeley Police Department incident log on CrimeMapping and CrimeView Community
- The UCPD crime log, also posted in brief on CrimeMapping, and UCPD crime alerts
- Local Crime News lists arrests of Berkeley residents (not by agency); BPD’s arrest log and booking log (new as of April 2016)
- Nixle public safety alerts, by email and text, from BPD and UCPD
- The Berkeley Police Department’s “calls for service” heat map
- BPD on Twitter: Chief Meehan, spokesman Sgt. Frankel, Officer Byron White
- See what the Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee (BSNC) is up to
- Learn about what info BPD can release to the public
- Find your area coordinator to ask about neighborhood issues (but don’t forget to tip Berkeleyside, too!)
Please note: These 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. 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.
Williams decides not to testify; defense rests (05.06.16)
Convicted murderer says he’ll take the stand (05.25.16)
Convicted killer: ‘I been in the streets since I was 9’ (05.25.16)
Attorney: Williams says ‘death sentence is fine with him’ (05.23.16)
Cal student sexually assaulted in Oxford parking lot (05.20.16)
After robbery, car-jacking, reckless driving, police arrest 2 men with gun, puppy (05.18.16)
Two men robbed at gunpoint on Grizzly Peak Boulevard (05.18.16)
Young man shot multiple times in San Pablo Park (05.17.16)
‘Penalty trial’ begins in Berkeley-Oakland murder case (05.17.16)
Man asks for own arrest, gun found in car after medical pot buy, fraud arrest, more (05.16.16)
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