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 email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
SNAPSHOT From June 16-22, there were reports of six robberies, 14 burglaries, 16 assaults or batteries, four weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 14 stolen vehicles, 16 disturbances and 39 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A vandalism and a weapons call, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD); we’ve filled out the blotter with tidbits from the UCPD crime log. Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the June 16-22 round-up below.
Recent public safety news
CRIMINAL THREATS, PSYCH EVAL AT BART A man who threatened to shoot a station agent at the downtown Berkeley BART station was arrested last week, July 6, and taken for a psychiatric evaluation. The agent told the BART Police the man, after fare evading, had threatened to shoot him at about 10:25 p.m.: “As the officer prepared to transport him to jail, however, the suspect physically resisted and refused to be placed in a patrol car. The officer, joined by an assisting officer, used physical force/control holds to restrain the suspect, who also made verbal threats to harm himself. Paramedics responded and eventually transported the suspect to a local hospital, along with a police hold, for a psychiatric evaluation; he was also issued a prohibition order.” No injuries were sustained by anyone involved with the arrest, the BART Police reported. (No further information was available because the case number did not appear linked to any active case with the district attorney’s office, according to available online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office.)
DNA LINKS MAN TO 2008 SEXUAL ASSAULT SERIES The Berkeley Police Department has linked a series of sexual assaults and prowling cases from 2008 to a Berkeley man who would have been 16 at the time of the attacks, authorities report. Police announced the arrest last week of 24-year-old Johnny Dunbar. After collecting his fingerprints for the first time when he was stopped in connection with a traffic violation in March, investigators discovered that his prints matched a palm print left at a 2008 rape scene, police said. Further testing, of Dunbar’s DNA, also tied him to multiple sexual assaults, according to authorities. Police said Dunbar would break into his victims’ homes and threaten them with a knife or gun before sexually assaulting them. Dunbar is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail. He is scheduled to enter a plea Monday, July 18, according to sheriff’s office records.
BPD IS HIRING The Berkeley Police Department has put out the call for officers, with a deadline of July 25 at 5 p.m. According to a recent hiring notice released in a Nixle alert, the department is looking for candidates who have “a strong desire to build positive relationships in a diverse community” and “the uncanny ability to maintain your composure when the pressure is on.” The department is looking for entry-level recruits, reserves and lateral officers. According to the city of Berkeley website, experienced officers and academy grads are looking at a monthly salary of $7,736-$9,628; recruits at $6,204 monthly; and reserves at $12-$30 hourly. More information, including the recruitment brochure and links to job listings, can be found in the Nixle alert. Other city jobs are listed online.
The week in review: June 16-22
Thursday, June 16
Police arrested 35-year-old Ryan Crawford at 12:19 a.m. at Addison and Second streets on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance for sale, and other violations. He remains in custody with a bail of $95,000 and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing July 20, according to online records from the sheriff’s office.
There was a felony sexual assault at 2:55 a.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue. Police arrested a 32-year-old janitor in connection with the incident but he is no longer in custody and charges do not appear to have been filed, according to sheriff’s office records. No further information was available.
There were three vehicles stolen: at 6 a.m. in the 2500 block of Shattuck; at 3:45 p.m. in the 2500 block of Shattuck; and at 7 p.m. in the 2400 block of Shattuck.
There was a home burglary at 9:15 a.m. in the 100 block of Vicente Road.
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Via UCPD: A 28-year-old woman reported at about 9:40 a.m. that someone had stolen her linens from a laundry room at University Village in Albany. The linens were valued at $100.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 10:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Allston Way.
There were three disturbance calls: at 10:55 a.m. in the 200 block of University Avenue; at 12:43 p.m. in the 1900 block of Hearst Avenue; and at 4:58 p.m. at Kittredge and Fulton streets.
A large truck hauling sand in the North Berkeley Hills overturned, and bystanders had to extricate the driver, who was taken to the hospital, authorities said. Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken said the truck had been hauling sand while driving down Glendale Avenue when it “lost its brakes” around 1:30 p.m. Read more on Berkeleyside.
The Berkeley Fire Department and the UC fire marshal responded to University Hall in the west lot to extinguish a fire “of unknown origin” at about 3:15 p.m. It was under investigation, UCPD reported.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 4 p.m. in the 2000 block of Berryman Street, and at 5:30 p.m. in the 900 block of University.
There were three robberies: at 7:18 p.m. in the 1900 block of Ashby Avenue; at 9:58 p.m. in the 2600 block of Woolsey Street; and at 10:55 p.m. in the 2900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
A local resident told Berkeleyside on Twitter about a “grab, run & chase” on Woolsey Street between College and Benvenue avenues at about 10 p.m. The victim — who lives in the neighborhood — was “shaken but appears OK,” said Peter Sussman, who was nearby after the crime took place. The man was on his way home from work when robbers struck; he clung to his bag, which held his computer, and chased after the bandits when the strap broke. (This item appeared first in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
Friday, June 17
There were three disturbance calls: at 12:11 a.m. in the 2000 block of Kittredge Street; at 12:26 p.m. in the 2100 block of Milvia Street; and at 1:30 p.m. at College and Ashby avenues.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 4:16 a.m. in the 2900 block of College, and at 8 p.m. in the 900 block of Bolivar Drive.
Someone brandished a weapon at 7:25 a.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue.
Four vehicles were stolen: at 8 a.m. in the 1100 block of Virginia Street; at 6 p.m. in the 1400 block of Cornell Avenue; at 8 p.m. in the 2400 block of Fulton; and at 9:30 p.m. at an unlisted location.
UCPD responded at about 2 p.m. to Novato to help the police department there with the “disposal of found blasting caps.”
A 49-year-old employee reported a suspicious Facebook posting to UCPD at 3:10 p.m.
Neighbors on California Street called police at about 6:50 p.m. after hearing a woman “yelling like she was being hit,” according to court papers. Police responded to the apartment for the domestic dispute and could hear a man and woman yelling inside. Police arrested Michael Bishop, 28, of Berkeley. He has been charged with three felonies after authorities say he tied up a woman he knew with an electrical cord and tried to rape her. (Read more on Berkeleyside.) Bishop remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $310,000, according to the sheriff’s office. He was scheduled for a pretrial hearing Monday, July 11.
There was a home burglary at 8 p.m. in the 2600 block of Benvenue Avenue.
Saturday, June 18
UCPD responded at 12:30 a.m. to the West Crescent for a report of a 40-year-old man who was “lodging in a hammock.”
There was a misdemeanor assault or battery at 10:45 a.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck.
At 3:10 p.m., a 39-year-old woman (non-student) was transported from People’s Park to John George Psychiatric Hospital in San Leandro for a psychiatric evaluation, UCPD reports.
Two people were sent to the hospital after a stabbing at a Berkeley park next to the popular downtown farmers market at about 3:30 p.m. One man was stabbed in the chest, and received injuries that appeared potentially life threatening, and another had a cut to the arm. Police initially said a crash involving a police cruiser at 6:45 p.m. was related to the stabbing, but later said it was related to a different emergency call. Berkeleyside has requested clarification. Read more about the stabbing on Berkeleyside. [Update, 1:14 p.m. BPD said Tuesday the crash happened when an officer was responding to a report of a female with a knife who was brandishing it and trying to stab someone. Authorities later determined that the events described in the report had not taken place, said Lt. Kevin Schofield, a department spokesman.]
There was a disturbance at 8:55 p.m. at Dwight Way and College Avenue.
Berkeley police arrested Andrew Moellering, 50, at about 11:30 p.m. in Oakland, at San Pablo Avenue and 67th Street. Moellering was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance for sale and other violations. He has been released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to enter a plea Thursday, July 14, or face the issuance of a bench warrant if he does not attend court, according to online records from the sheriff’s office.
Sunday, June 19
There were two disturbance calls: at 12:37 a.m. in the 2800 block of Sacramento Street, and at 2:33 p.m. in the 1700 block of La Loma Avenue.
There were two home burglaries, at 4 a.m. in the 2300 block of Dwight, and at 9:45 a.m. in the 3000 block of Adeline Street.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 11:25 a.m. in the 1600 block of Oxford Street; at 1:30 p.m. at Shattuck and Prince Street; and at 5:30 p.m. at Euclid Avenue and Virginia Street.
There was a robbery at 4:42 p.m. at Harper and Fairview streets.
There was a felony assault or battery at 6 p.m. at Shattuck and Kittredge.
Multiple readers reported helicopters and sirens in South Berkeley over Derby, MLK and Ashby. BPD told Berkeleyside there had been a crash with minor injuries involving a cyclist and a driver at Woolsey and Alcatraz. (A reader pointed out that those two streets are parallel; KTVU reported Woolsey at Shattuck.) No further information was immediately available, as police were still working the case. Berkeleyside posted information on Twitter when the reader questions came in.
Monday, June 20
A 30-year-old man (non-student) was taken at 4:15 a.m. by Paramedics Plus from Sproul Hall to John George Psychiatric Hospital in San Leandro for a psychiatric evaluation, UCPD reports.
There was a robbery at 7:48 a.m. in the 1600 block of San Pablo Avenue.
There were two home burglaries, at 8 a.m. in the 1300 block of Carrison Street, and at 10 p.m. in the 2500 block of Grant Street.
There was a disturbance at 9 a.m. in the 1800 block of Addison Street.
Someone reportedly brandished a weapon at 10:38 a.m. in the 1700 block of 10th Street.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 11:19 a.m. in the 1600 block of University Avenue, and at 10:08 p.m. in the 600 block of Cedar Street.
UCPD stopped and spoke with a 38-year-old man who was “running through the gate” at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab at 11:40 a.m. The officer filled out a field interview card.
A transient man reported to have been panhandling on a West Berkeley median fell into a city-owned vehicle in the roadway and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, authorities said. The man was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland with an apparent head injury at about 1:30 p.m. (BPD said, as of two days later, the man was stable, but the department had no further information. Police did not know why the man fell and said any hypotheses would simply be speculation.) Read more on Berkeleyside.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 4 p.m. in the 900 block of Carleton Street; at 6:39 p.m. in the 1800 block of Harmon Street; and at 10 p.m. in the 1800 block of Delaware Street.
There was a felony assault or battery at 8:20 p.m. in the 2500 block of Hillegass Avenue.
Tuesday, June 21
Police arrested 66-year-old Louis Nicol in the 2000 block of Allston Way shortly after midnight on suspicion of a narcotics violation. Nicol remains in custody, according to sheriff’s office records, in connection with possession of narcotics for sale. He was scheduled to enter a plea Monday, July 11.
At 8:50 a.m., police arrested 40-year-old Danielle Martin in the 2400 block of Russell Street after an auto burglary was reported. Martin was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary. She remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail and is also being held on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. She is scheduled for a mental competency hearing Aug. 22 at 9:30 a.m. at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland, according to sheriff’s office records. She has a previous conviction for robbery, according to those records.
A vehicle was stolen at 9 a.m. at College Avenue and Dwight Way.
UCPD got a report at 9:23 a.m. about a young man who reportedly brandished a knife at a 42-year-old man in the Ellsworth parking structure (at Channing Way). The suspect was described as a black man, 19-23 years old, with a thin build, short cropped hair and a dark complexion. He had a half-inch birthmark on his left cheek and was wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans. According to the UCPD log, the incident took place March 2 at 8:15 p.m.
UCPD arrested 27-year-old Christopher Simmons at 12:41 p.m. on suspicion of trespassing with intent to damage, and resisting arrest, at the Zellerbach Hall loading dock. He was taken to Highland Hospital and North County Jail.
There was a disturbance at 2:40 p.m. in the 1900 block of Hearst Avenue.
The East Bay Regional Park District responded to an area southwest of Signpost 18 on Grizzly Peak Boulevard just after 5 p.m. to extinguish a “smoldering log.” The UC fire marshal was notified.
Wednesday, June 22
Seventeen-year-old Efejon Ustenci, who had graduated with his Berkeley High class less than a week before, drowned while on a trip with friends near Lake Tahoe. A fundraiser to help his family has raised more than $22,000. The weekend after Efejon’s death, hundreds of community members came together at Berkeley High School to remember the young man, who was supposed to attend Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in the fall, according to his Facebook page.
Maureen and Mustafa Ustenci, Efejon’s parents, shared the following statement with Berkeleyside after the outpouring of community support: “Just as it is impossible to find adequate words of consolation for the loss of a child, it is equally impossible to find adequate words to express our gratitude for the kindness that has been shown towards us. In this there has been almost no distinction between closest friends, family, neighbors, community members and total strangers — all have poured out their love and generosity and their profoundly heartfelt wishes that we, Mustafa and Maureen, whom many of them have never met, should somehow be helped to survive this loss. Everyone knows it is the worst of all losses — what stuns and humbles us is that so many should care, so much. We now have a lifetimes’ worth of comforting words, pictures, memories, small eulogies and large praises for our beloved Efejon, and when the worst of the grief has passed in time, these things will indeed be our greatest comfort. The knowledge of what he was to others, which his beautiful young friends have given to us, keeps us from despair. And the funds so generously given from the giver’s hearts, have kept us from additional fear and anxiety and misery. This has been a great life lesson to us on what a human being truly can be, a lesson from our son and from all of you. God bless all of you. May everything you give return to you a hundredfold when you need it most. Our dearest love to every one of you, from Mustafa, Maureen, and Efejon”
There were five disturbance calls: at 12:58 a.m. in the 2200 block of Milvia Street; at 10:41 a.m. at McKinley Avenue and Allston Way; at noon in the 2900 block of Claremont Avenue; at 3:10 p.m. in the 500 block of Colusa Avenue; and at 4 p.m. in the 2900 block of Ninth Street.
There was a home burglary at noon in the 1200 block of Channing Way.
There was a robbery at 1:10 p.m. in the 2100 block of Allston Way.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 5:23 p.m. at Shattuck and Kittredge.
There was a commercial burglary at 11:15 p.m. in the 3000 block of Shattuck.
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
- Listen to the police scanner online
- 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.
Man arrested at BART after knife threats, shirt burning (07.11.16)
Robber punches woman in North Berkeley, takes bag (07.11.16)
Authorities: DNA, prints match 2008 sex assaults where rapist broke in with knife, gun (07.08.16)
Police: Fingerprints link man, 24, to 2008 sexual assault series with at least 3 victims (07.08.16)
‘Severe traffic alert’ in the East Bay due to tractor trailer fire, fuel spill (07.08.16)
Man walking with loaded rifle, extra ammo arrested in West Berkeley (07.06.16)
Crime log: Aquatic Park search, man sentenced after stabbing, bike thefts at BART (07.06.16)
Man arrested outside Berkeley Whole Foods after brandishing knife, resisting arrest (07.05.16)
UC Berkeley student among those killed in Bangladesh terrorist attack (07.02.16)
Thief punches 94-year-old ranger at home, steals coin given to her by Obama (06.30.16)
BFD responds to vegetation fire in the hills (06.30.16)
Anonymous email threatens students after Sacramento rally tied to local teacher (06.27.16)
Male assaulted by group on Grizzly Peak Boulevard (06.26.16)
Berkeley police search area after report of man with rifle; no one found (06.26.16)
Armed men rob trio on Grizzly Peak Boulevard (06.25.16)
Fire at former Sliderbar in downtown Berkeley (06.23.16)
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