Raymond Davis. Photo: BPD

An Oakland felon on parole for robbery was charged this week with four new commercial robberies in Berkeley in November, according to court papers obtained by Berkeleyside.

A Berkeley police officer on patrol arrested Raymond Davis, 53, after a restaurant robbery in downtown Berkeley on Nov. 20, court records show. Police then linked Davis to four other recent cases in Berkeley. Two of those robberies took place on the two days prior to his arrest.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Davis on Monday with four robberies that took place Nov. 9, Nov. 18, Nov. 19 and Nov. 20. (He was not charged in one of the Berkeley robberies from Nov. 9.) Davis is being held at Santa Rita Jail on $975,000 bail and is set to enter a plea Dec. 10 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland, according to county jail records online.

The night of Davis’ arrest, according to court papers, Berkeley Police Officer James Seaton was called to Center and Milvia streets for a restaurant robbery at 8:30 p.m. The robber, who used what appeared to be a gun, took nearly $500 from the business. A witness saw him “duck behind” a car and ditch a jacket there after the crime. The witness then followed the man to the Center Street garage, according to court papers.

At the garage, Seaton found Davis, who was identified by the victim as the man who had robbed him, according to court papers. The officer also searched the area where the robber had been seen dropping his jacket. Seaton found clothing, a mask and a replica firearm there, he wrote in court papers.

According to records online, police also tied Davis to a robbery at U.S. Smog & Gas, at 3000 Shattuck Ave. (at Ashby Avenue) on Nov. 18. Just before 6:45 p.m., a man with a shotgun entered the gas station and robbed the cashier, police said previously. The robber took money and left the store.

Police say Davis also was responsible for three other Berkeley robberies, which took place Nov. 9 and Nov. 19. Berkeley Police Sgt. Veronica Rodrigues said the incidents Nov. 9 took place at Secret Scoop, 1922 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (at Berkeley Way), and Ici ice cream shop, 2079 University Ave. (at Shattuck Avenue). The robbery on Nov. 19 took place at the Chevron gas station at 3048 Ashby Ave. (at Domingo Avenue). All three incidents were armed robberies, Rodrigues said.

Police linked Davis to five robberies, but he was only charged with four. Image: Google Maps/Berkeleyside

None of the cases were charged as armed robberies, according to documents from the Alameda County district attorney’s office, and only one of the Nov. 9 cases is listed in charging documents.

According to court papers, Davis has six prior convictions dating back to 1987, as well as two strikes. His most recent conviction, for a robbery in Alameda County in 2004, sent him to prison.

Davis previously had been convicted of two attempted robberies in the county in 1995 and 1998. He was sent to prison after both of those convictions, according to court papers.

Davis also had a 1987 conviction for vehicle theft, according to court records. In 1991 and 1996, he was convicted in Alameda County of selling drugs, including cocaine. Davis got probation in the two earlier cases, but the 1996 cocaine sales conviction sent him to prison.

Davis, who works in sheet rocking, according to jail records online, is not eligible for bail because of the parole violation.

There have already been 34 robberies in Berkeley in November through Nov. 20, according to CrimeMapping.com, a repository for local crime data. That’s nearly twice the usual rate: Berkeley has averaged about a robbery a day over the past five years.

[Note: Berkeleyside updated the number of Berkeley robberies in November shortly after publication. The original data set includes duplicate reports for several incidents. This story also was updated with additional details from BPD.]

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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...