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 June 30 to July 6, there were reports of nine robberies, five burglaries, 10 assaults or batteries, three weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 13 stolen vehicles, 15 disturbances and 25 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A sex crime, a vehicle theft and a vandalism, 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 30 to July 6 round-up below.
Recent public safety news
ANOTHER STOLEN CATALYTIC CONVERTER A thief stole a catalytic converter from a 2008 Honda Element parked at the North Berkeley BART station between 7:15 a.m. and 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, the BART PD reports. It may be the first time since February this type of theft has been reported at a Berkeley station. (Berkeleyside broke the news at that time of a series of similar thefts impacting people who were parking at East Bay BART stations.) The BART PD arrested two people in March it believed was responsible for multiple incidents of catalytic converter theft. Catalytic converters are a target for thieves because they contain precious metals — including platinum, palladium and rhodium. In addition, their location makes them relatively easy to steal.
DISTURBANCE ARREST AT ASHBY BART A man detained by the BART Police on suspicion of creating a disturbance at the Ashby station July 9 shortly before 5 p.m. was found to have two outstanding misdemeanor vandalism warrants. The arrest warrants, out of San Francisco, totaled $17,000 in bail. The man was placed under arrest and booked into the county jail. His name was not immediately available.
FIRE INVESTIGATORS OFFER $10,000 REWARD AFTER EMERYVILLE BLAZE The Alameda County Fire Investigation Task Force is looking for information about what sparked a 6-alarm fire that destroyed an apartment complex under construction in Emeryville. The fire, at 3800 San Pablo Ave., took place July 6. A multi-agency team has interviewed witnesses, reviewed video, analyzed debris and reconstructed the scene. A full report is expected within 30 days. Authorities are asking anyone with information about what may have led to the fire to call 888-283-3473. A $10,000 reward has been offered for information that helps investigators determine the cause of the fire. See the complete advisory online.
The week in review: June 30 to July 6
Thursday, June 30
There was an ID theft call at midnight in the 1700 block of Sixth Street and a fraud or forgery call at noon in the 1700 block of Oxford Street.
There was a disturbance at 11 a.m. in the 1300 block of Gilman Street.
Help improve the blotter: Send Berkeleyside neighborhood crime news.
Via UCPD: Four teenage boys, ages 14, 15 and 17 (two), were cited for vandalism at the Berkeley Art Museum at 3:15 p.m. They were released to their parents.
UCPD and other agencies helped the East Bay Regional Park District respond to a fire on Grizzly Peak across from Signpost 14. The Berkeley Fire Department also responded. BFD said the call was to a vegetation fire in the hills above Claremont Avenue and Fish Ranch Road. Deputy Berkeley Fire Chief Donna McCracken said firefighters were dispatched at 4:43 p.m. to help fight the blaze. Read more on Berkeleyside.
A vehicle was stolen at 5 p.m. in the 3300 block of King Street.
There were two robberies, at 8:50 p.m. at Belrose Avenue and Derby Street, and at 11:07 p.m. at Woolsey and California streets.
The BART Police got three reports of stolen bikes at the North Berkeley BART station. All of the bikes were locked. A Trek Hybrid bike valued at $500 was stolen between 7:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. It had been locked to the bike racks with a Kryptonite lock. A Cannondale hybrid also locked to the bike racks, worth $430, was stolen between 10 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. It had been secured with a Kryptonite U-lock. A brown Lemond 12-speed road bike, locked with a cable lock at 6:30 p.m. Thursday was no longer there Friday at 9 p.m. The lock was gone, too. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
Friday, July 1
There were three robberies: at 12:20 a.m. at Prince Street and Shattuck Avenue; at 11:59 a.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck; and at 11:54 p.m. at College and Alcatraz avenues.
2100 BLOCK OF SHATTUCK Police arrested Nicole Madison, 33, on suspicion of robbery. Madison has been convicted multiple times in the past for grand theft and burglary. She remains in custody with a bail of $50,000, according to the sheriff’s office, and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing July 28. She is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
There were two felony assaults or batteries, at 12:25 a.m. in the 2400 block of Durant Avenue, and at 1:54 p.m. at University Avenue and West Frontage Road.
UNIVERSITY AND FRONTAGE At about 10:10 a.m. the next day, police arrested 26-year-old Zuber Awad, aka “Miami,” in connection with the assault at University and Frontage. According to unconfirmed scanner traffic, a report had come in about an assault with a baseball bat; the suspect was identified as a homeless camper in the area who was known to wear a diving weight around his neck. Berkeleyside has asked BPD and the Alameda County district attorney’s office for confirmation of the circumstances. Awad remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $130,000. He is scheduled for a preliminary examination Monday, July 18. According to sheriff’s office records, he has a prior conviction for felony battery causing serious bodily injury. Zuber is originally from Miami, Florida, according to records online. According to a 2014 story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Awad lived at People’s Park and the Albany Bulb, then moved to the Gilman underpass before finally setting up his home in a vacant lot at Second and Jones. “It’d be nice to stay here for a while, as long as everyone gets along,” he told the Chronicle in 2014. He was arrested in Albany that year on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, according to UCPD records online. (Update, Aug. 16: Awad is set to be sentenced Wednesday, Aug. 17. Read the latest.)
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 12:49 a.m. in the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue.
There were two home burglaries, at 9:30 a.m. in the 1600 block of Sacramento Street, and at noon in the 1100 block of Laurel Street.
A man (non-student) was taken from Upper Sproul Plaza to John George Psychiatric Hospital in San Leandro for a psychiatric evaluation at 10:08 a.m., UCPD reports.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 12:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Channing Way, and at 3:30 p.m. in the 2500 block of Durant Avenue.
A thief stole an iPad and Lenovo laptop, valued at $2,100, from a student at Koshland Hall between 12:10 and 1:20 p.m., UCPD reports.
Police recovered a stolen vehicle at 1:50 p.m. at Channing Way and Sixth Street.
The Berkeley Police Department put out a Nixle alert at about 2:20 p.m. after an officer saw an occupied stolen Acura near North Aquatic Park, Lt. Kevin Schofield of BPD reports. The driver and passenger fled from the car. Police searched for them around Bancroft Way and Aquatic Park, but were unable to find the duo. During the search, police asked the public to stay out of the area. Police spent about 10 minutes looking before calling off the search around 2:30 p.m., according to a second Nixle alert released at that time. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
UCPD arrested Alyxander Panitsnipes, 23, at People’s Park at 5 p.m. on suspicion of marijuana sales, possession of marijuana for sale and probation violation. He was arraigned July 5 and is no longer in custody, having been released on $20,000 bail. He is scheduled for further pretrial Sept. 7.
There was a disturbance at 8:21 p.m. in the 2100 block of Allston Way.
Police responded to the downtown Berkeley BART station for a woman who was “smoking on a train and creating a disturbance” at about 10:35 p.m., the BART Police reported. When the BART officer arrived, the woman refused to get off the train and physically resisted the officer, authorities said. The officer used force to get the woman off the train and take her to Santa Rita Jail. BART said that, during the booking process, the woman “kicked a female OPD Officer who was assisting in searching her. A charge of assaulting an Officer was added. The suspect was also transported for a psychological exam.” (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
UCPD arrested Michael McGruder, 37, on Lower Sproul Plaza while responding to a bike theft in progress shortly before midnight. McGruder is on probation and has previously been convicted for theft, burglary and criminal threats. He remains in custody with a bail of $15,000 and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing July 22, according to the sheriff’s office. He is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on suspicion of attempted theft, theft, and receiving known stolen property.
Saturday, July 2
An 18-year-old UC Berkeley economics student was killed Friday or Saturday by ISIS gunmen who stormed a cafe in Bangladesh and slaughtered 20 people. Read more on Berkeleyside.
There were two home burglaries, at 12:01 a.m. in the 2300 block of Ellsworth Street, and at 10:44 p.m. in the 2600 block of Regent Street.
There was a felony sexual assault at 1 a.m. in the 2400 block of Warring Street.
There were two ID theft incidents, at 12:40 p.m. in the 900 block of Regal Road, and at 12:50 p.m. in the 2000 block of Ashby Avenue.
There were two disturbance calls, at 2 p.m. in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and at 5:32 p.m. at Derby Street and Hillegass Avenue.
There was a robbery at 5:55 p.m. in the 2400 block of Channing Way. Police arrested Brejon Bandy, 20, in Richmond, according to sheriff’s office records. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $100,000 and is scheduled for further pretrial July 20.
A vehicle was stolen at 8 p.m. in the 3400 block of Adeline Street.
Sunday, July 3
There were three disturbance calls: at midnight in the 2000 block of University Avenue; at 6:14 p.m. in the 1900 block of Dwight Way; and at 6:15 p.m. at Telegraph Avenue and Dwight Way.
Two vehicles were stolen, at 12:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of 10th Street, and at 11:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of Regent Street.
There was a fraud or forgery call at 1:57 a.m. in the 1900 block of Haste Street. Police arrested Trinette Washington, 44, on suspicion of ID theft and several misdemeanors. She remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail, according to sheriff’s office records, with a bail of $60,000. She is scheduled for a hearing to be appointed an attorney Aug. 18.
Police arrested Javari Harper Sr., 24, on suspicion of ID theft at a location identified in the BPD Calls for Service log as the Aquatic Park path between Grayson Street and Heinz Avenue. He is no longer in custody and is scheduled for a motion to suppress evidence hearing Monday, July 18.
There was a home burglary at 2:17 a.m. in the 2700 block of Ninth Street.
UCPD arrested 42-year-old Damon Sykes at Li Ka Shing during a bike theft in progress. He was arrested on suspicion of bike theft, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools. He was released on $12,500 bail and is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 3 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse, according to sheriff’s office records.
There were two robberies, at 8 p.m. in the 2900 block of King Street, and at 9:50 p.m. at Prince and Ellis streets.
Monday, July 4
There were three disturbance calls: at 2:14 a.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck; at 12:15 p.m. at Ashby Avenue and Regent Street; and at 8:57 p.m. in the 1300 block of 67th Street.
67TH STREET Police arrested Carl Jones, a convicted sex offender, on suspicion of stalking. His bail has been set at $385,000, according to sheriff’s office records. (Berkeleyside has requested further information about this case from the district attorney’s office.) Jones does not appear to be eligible to post bail due to a violation of his prior release from custody terms, according to records online. According to the Megan’s Law database, Jones had been in violation of his sex offender registration requirements since June 2013. He had been convicted before that of continuous sexual abuse of a child and oral copulation by force or fear of a minor under 14 years old.
A vehicle was stolen at 2:20 a.m. in the 1200 block of University Avenue.
There was a robbery at 8:10 p.m. in the 1200 block of Russell Street.
Tuesday, July 5
Three vehicles were stolen: at midnight in the 2000 block of Ninth Street; at 8 a.m. at Virginia Street and Eastshore; and at 5 p.m. in the 1000 block of Overlook Road.
There were four disturbances: at 2:44 a.m. at Allston Way and Milvia Street; at 8:50 a.m. in the 1100 block of San Pablo Avenue; at 5:15 p.m. in the 2800 block of Sacramento Street; and at 8:50 p.m. in the 1100 block of University Avenue.
At least two Berkeley Police sought medical care after being injured during the arrest outside a West Berkeley grocery store of a man who had earlier been armed with a knife. The man, identified as 42-year-old Jason Joyner, had brandished the knife at two city employees Tuesday morning, authorities said. He dropped the knife and walked away after officers arrived, ignoring repeated commands to stop, before nearing the entrance of the Whole Foods grocery store on Gilman Street. Officers then used force to take him into custody when he would not allow himself to be handcuffed. (Read more on Berkeleyside.) Joyner remains in custody, according to sheriff’s office records, and is being held with a bail of $50,000. He is scheduled for his next court appearance Wednesday, July 20.
Police arrested 33-year-old Haki McClain, a sales rep, in connection with a 2015 burglary case. No further information about that case was immediately available. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $370,000, but is not eligible to post bail due to what is listed as a parole violation, according to sheriff’s office records. McClain is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Monday, July 18.
Via UCPD: Someone stole a white 2009 Kushman golf cart from the ASUC garage between 3:30 p.m. July 1 and 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
A 21-year-old female student reported a “battery via touch” at Morgan Hall at 4 p.m., says UCPD. The man was described as white, 5 foot 10, with a thin build, a large backpack and a skateboard.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 11 p.m. at Center Street and Shattuck Avenue.
A 21-year-old female student reported a sexual battery at the northwest corner of Doe Library just after 11 p.m., according to UCPD.
Wednesday, July 6
There was a disturbance at 12:09 a.m. at Fairview and Adeline streets.
Police arrested Jason Robinson, 30, in Richmond on a $120,000 felony warrant for hit-and-run causing injury in connection with a 2015 case in Berkeley. (No further information about that case was immediately available.) Robinson has been released on $5,000 bail and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 22, according to sheriff’s office records.
There was a call involving a gun at 10:56 a.m. in the 900 block of Channing: Officers arrested a 35-year-old Oakland man after an alert resident spotted him carrying a gun through the neighborhood, authorities said. Leonard Jackson was walking at Eighth Street and Channing toward San Pablo Avenue when a concerned citizen saw him with the firearm and called 911 to report it, said Lt. Schofield. (Read more on Berkeleyside.) Jackson remains in custody with a bail of $215,000, according to sheriff’s office records, and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Tuesday, July 19.
Three vehicles were stolen: at 2 p.m. in the 1700 block of Stuart Street; at 5 p.m. in the 1200 block of Seventh Street; and at 10 p.m. in the 1200 block of 65th Street.
Detectives 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. Johnny Dunbar, now 24, was arrested Wednesday, July 6, following the collection of his fingerprints for the first time during a stop for 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. (This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.)
There was a fraud or forgery call at 4:54 p.m. in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
A man who threatened to shoot a station agent at the downtown Berkeley BART station was arrested 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.) [This item appeared in an earlier blotter for timeliness.]
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.
Probation search nets loaded gun, ID and fraud arrests, animal shelter burglary, more (07.15.16)
Petition to fire Berkeley teacher garners 500 signatures (07.14.16)
Man kisses 2 UC Berkeley students without consent; police seek other victims (07.13.16)
Crime calls: Gunfire on Stuart, battery arrest, psych eval (07.13.16)
Crime log: Man threatens to shoot BART agent, 2 stabbed, tragic drowning (07.12.16)
Man arrested at BART after knife threats, shirt burning (07.11.16)
Robber punches woman in North Berkeley, takes bag (07.11.16)
Do you rely on Berkeleyside for local news? Support independent journalism by becoming a Berkeleyside member for $10 a month or even less, or by making a one-time donation.