At least 35 vehicles were burglarized in North Berkeley the nights of June 30 and July 1, like this car on Keeler Avenue. Photo: Daniel Goellner

Many North Berkeley residents woke up Sunday and Monday mornings to discover someone had smashed their car windows and rummaged through their vehicles.

Berkeley police reported at least 35 vehicles were burglarized in several North Berkeley neighborhoods over the weekend.

“While some of the burglaries involved a suspect gaining entry after breaking a window, some of the burglars were able to get into vehicles through an unlocked door or window,” said BPD spokesman Byron White in a statement.

A map shared by the police shows the burglaries occurred in five different locations: near Indian Rock, near The Alameda and Monterey Avenue, near Hopkins and Sacramento streets, on Josephine Street and in the hills, on Keeler Avenue.

Vehicles were burglarized in at least five different locations in North Berkeley on June 30 and July 1. Photo: BPD

Phil Gollner said his was one of at least five cars burglarized on his block of Keeler on Saturday night.

“I woke up to find a police officer inspecting my car, which had its rear driver side window smashed,” Gollner said in an email referring to Sunday morning. “Nothing appeared to have been taken from my car, although it was evident someone had gone through my things and found nothing of value.”

Another resident wrote that at least 12 cars on her block of Josephine, between Cedar and Virginia streets, had their driver’s-side windows shattered Sunday night.

Across town the same night, Berkeley School Board member Judy Appel had her car stolen. It is unclear whether the South Berkeley theft was connected to the break-ins in North Berkeley.

Police said they are investigating the burglaries and compiling information on anything taken from the cars, said White on Tuesday.

“Sometimes when we have auto break-ins, there’s a level of sophistication,” where burglars are selective in the cars they target and what they take from them, he said. So far in these cases, it seems like “they’re taking anything they can.”

Car on Keeler Avenue that was broken into Saturday June 30, 2018. Photo: Daniel Goellner
Car on Keeler Avenue that was broken into Saturday June 30, 2018. Photo: Daniel Goellner

Police have asked residents on the burglarized blocks to check any video surveillance recordings. They advised all car owners not to leave any valuable items visible inside their vehicles and suggested parking inside a garage or in a well-lit area if possible.

White said he did not immediately have information on whether car burglaries have increased in Berkeley in recent weeks or months.

“I’d like to think this is isolated — it’s so rare we have 35 broken into in such a short period,” he said.

This story has been updated.

Natalie Orenstein reports on housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. Natalie was a Berkeleyside staff reporter from early 2017 to May 2020. She had previously contributed to the site since 2012,...