Police on Center Street on Sunday. Photo: Citizen reporter

A robbery call in downtown Berkeley on Sunday led police to arrest two men with a stolen gun — who ultimately were determined to have no connection to the initial crime.

Multiple readers noticed a significant police response downtown Sunday evening, and asked Berkeleyside for details.

“Something happened … just before 7 pm in downtown Berkeley. Lots of police and cars outside Berkeley Community College on Center,” wrote one reader. “2 young men in custody. Members of Berkeley Rep audiences in theatre tonight are concerned.”

Another person described “Something semi-major in front of City College” at 6:50 p.m. Center street was “blocked by police cars converging from both directions,” and police were not letting pedestrians through the area.

Berkeley Police Lt. Joe Okies said police were called just before 6:30 p.m. about a strong-arm robbery at Center and Oxford streets.

Officers who responded to the area stopped three people on Center west of Shattuck Avenue who were similar in appearance to the people involved in the robbery, he said.

Police ultimately arrested two of those men in connection with a stolen gun, and on suspicion of drug sales, Okies said. Their names were not immediately available Sunday night. Police determined through their investigation, however, that the men had not been involved with the initial robbery, Okies said.

The Berkeley Fire Department responded Sunday night to Addison Street near the Freight & Salvage. Photo: Citizen reporter

Readers also noticed an ambulance and fire truck outside the Freight & Salvage on Addison Street around the same time, and asked about that. Okies said it was unrelated to the robbery call or subsequent arrest.

Update, Oct. 9, 7 p.m. The two men arrested, according to online jail records, were Johnny Oshay Jackson, 20, on suspicion of carrying a loaded, concealed firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of marijuana for sale, among other violations; and Tyler Mitchell, 20, on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale. Jackson is being held on $170,000 bail, and Mitchell on $30,000 bail. They remain in custody and are scheduled for arraignment Tuesday morning at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

Jackson of Oakland also was arrested in Berkeley in 2016 in connection with a pedestrian robbery downtown. He entered a not guilty plea to charges of robbery and witness dissuasion, and that case later was dismissed, according to court records online. Later that year, he was arrested in Alameda County in connection with marijuana sales, and entered a “no contest” plea for being an accessory to a crime after the fact. He was placed on probation through May 2019.

In January 2017, according to Alameda County Superior Court records online, Jackson was arrested again, this time in connection with second-degree robbery, which is a felony, and two misdemeanors: elder or dependent adult abuse and possession of a controlled substance. He ultimately entered a no contest plea in connection with the robbery charge, served 51 days in jail and was placed on probation through March 2022.

Tyler Mitchell’s only other listed case in Alameda County dates back to marijuana sales in May 2016. He entered a no contest plea in connection with possession of concentrated cannabis. He was placed on probation through 2019.

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...