Berkeley police cruisers (file), April 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
A Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso

A woman described as elderly was nearly killed Tuesday evening in Berkeley during a carjacking that led to two arrests in Oakland on Wednesday morning, authorities report.

According to the Berkeley Police Department, the dispatch center got a report of a crash involving a vehicle and pedestrian at about 5:40 p.m. at California and Oregon streets in South Berkeley.

“Officers responded to the scene and found an elderly female victim on the ground with life-threatening injuries,” according to a statement released at 4 p.m. The woman was taken to the hospital for surgery for her injuries but is expected to survive.

BPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel said he could not release the woman’s age so as not to jeopardize the ongoing investigation. She is a Berkeley resident.

Initial information was challenging to get because of a language barrier, BPD reported.

Police later determined the incident was “more than a case of hit and run.”

The woman told police she had just parked her car when an SUV pulled up beside her.

“After she got out, someone punched her in the face and knocked her to the ground while someone else pulled her bag away from her,” police said. One of the individuals then got into the woman’s car and began to drive it. “At some point, the victim said she found herself behind her car when one of the suspects backed into her (with the car) and dragged her for a short distance before she became dislodged.”

The vehicles were seen driving southbound on California toward Ashby Avenue.

Wednesday morning, authorities got a break in the case when an Oakland resident spotted a vehicle that appeared to have just been dumped in a driveway in the 3000 block of Davis Street. Four juveniles were walking away from the car.

OPD dispatch ran the license plate, which had been flagged as the carjacking vehicle from Berkeley. 

Officers from Oakland responded to the area and tried to detain the group, but the individuals fled into the neighborhood.

Two of the foursome were detained after an extensive block search and two remain at large,” according to BPD. 

Both youth are Oakland residents. They were arrested and taken to the Berkeley Police Department. The investigation is ongoing. Their names were not released due to privacy laws protecting minors.

Police ask the community to help in the investigation by calling the Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5742 with information about the case. 

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[Note: This story was originally published at 4:17 p.m. The publication time was updated due to a technical glitch related to the Daily Briefing.]

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...