Update: Suspects still at large after attempted armed robbery, manhunt

A manhunt was underway Tuesday evening after an attempted armed robbery in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley.

Police cruisers on Claremont Avenue during the block-by-block search for suspects on Tuesday Feb. 14, 2017. Photo: Jennifer Lazo

Update, 11:20 p.m. Police said, as of 10:45 p.m., they had not found the robbers but were calling off the search. In a Berkeley Police Nixle alert, police said there had been a brief car chase after the robbery attempt, during which the driver was involved in two minor collisions before abandoning the car. One of the individuals sought by police was described as a black male, 15-20 years old and 6 feet tall. No description was provided about the second person.

Police said, despite an “extensive search,” officers terminated the effort without capturing either person.

Reports in other media of a bank robbery or bank robbery attempt were not accurate. Berkeleyside confirmed this with BPD.

Police have not said whether Tuesday night’s robbery attempt might be related to a slew of other robberies in Berkeley this month, including in the Elmwood.

Detectives have asked community members with information regarding this case to call the BPD robbery detail at 510-981-5741.

Original story, 8:37 p.m. A manhunt is underway after an attempted armed robbery in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley.

According to Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel, at around 5:30 p.m. at least two suspects with a handgun attempted to rob a person sitting in a car in the 2800 block of Piedmont Avenue (at Russell Street).

The suspects fled in a black sedan and then dumped the car in the 5600 block of Oak Grove in Rockridge, then fled on foot, Frankel told Berkeleyside.

At 8:30 p.m. both Oakland and Berkeley police were still conducting a block-by-block search in a “large area.”

Oakland police are leading the search and have not issued any alerts, such as a shelter-in-place advisory, about the incident yet.

Berkeleyside readers reported that for a short period trains were not stopping at Rockridge BART station, and that parts of Claremont Avenue were blocked off, although this has not been confirmed. Around 9 p.m. local residents reported that Claremont traffic was returning to normal, though one person on Twitter said a side street, possibly Forest, was still closed.

The Numerology Coach posted to Twitter at 9:09 p.m:¬†“OMG, I got caught in this traffic snafu at 6:30. Scary.” Also on Twitter at 9:15 p.m., Michael Bailey wrote:¬†“Got caught up in this on the way home; walked past the Peep’s ditched car. Police with huge guns everywhere. Not fun to walk through.”

Many in South Berkeley and North Oakland heard a helicopter overhead for well over an hour and contacted Berkeleyside to find out what was happening.

This is a developing story and was updated after publication.

An attempted armed robbery on Piedmont Avenue close to the corner with Russell Street led to a protracted hunt for a suspect on Tuesday Feb. 14. Image: Google Maps
Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: tracey@citysidejournalism.org.