Berkeley has seen a number of crimes in the past two weeks, including multiple street robberies, a stabbing, an arson arrest and more. This round-up is compiled primarily from Berkeley Police Department information sent out to the community as a Nixle alert.
ARSON ARREST Tuesday at 9 a.m. police were called to University Avenue and Acton Street after a man reportedly set fire to newspapers by Fellini Coffeebar: “When the first officer arrived, she found the suspect in the center median (near Target Express) — still holding the lighter stick,” police said. The officer tried to stop the man but he ran away. She chased him and he “flung his shoulder bag at the officer — striking her face,” according to police. More officers arrived and they took 30-year-old homeless man McLedell Silvano into custody on suspicion of arson and battery on a police officer. Silvano also was arrested on two warrants, including one from Fremont for unlawfully causing a fire, police said.
CIVIC CENTER PARK STABBING Tuesday just before 2:40 p.m., police were called to Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley to help a man with a stab wound. Police found the man, 56, sitting on a bench in the northwest corner of the park. He had been stabbed in the chest, police said. Officers arrested 57-year-old homeless man James Blakes “shortly thereafter” on the south side of the park in connection with assault with a deadly weapon and probation violation, BPD said. The injured man was taken to the hospital. Police said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
Scroll down for booking photos from both arrests.
Three violent street robberies, but no arrests
Police handled at least five robberies from Dec. 10-18. Three were on Dec. 13. Berkeley police provided information about several incidents from the time period.
On Dec. 10, two “elder” women were walking at 9:15 p.m. in the 2300 block of Ward Street when three young men tried to take their purses: The women held onto their purses, but “the suspects punched them and pushed one of them to the ground,” according to police. The attack caused a “commotion” and “caught the attention of others in the neighborhood who yelled for them to stop.” The trio got one of the purses and ran off. One woman, 65, was treated at the scene for swelling on her face. The other, 73, was taken to the hospital with cuts on her face and hands, and pain to the torso, BPD said. Police said the suspects were black, in their early 20s or younger, 5 foot 5 to 5 foot 8, and wearing dark clothing.
On Dec. 13 at 9:15 p.m. four teenage boys followed a 20-year-old woman walking on Shattuck Avenue at Center Street. They surrounded her and grabbed her phone, police said. When she tried to get it back, they punched her repeatedly, then ran away. Witnesses said all four suspects were 16, black, and about 5 foot 6 inches tall wearing dark clothing. The woman’s face was bruised and she was cut in the lip during the attack, police said.
Tuesday at 5:40, a young man blocked the path and demanded the purse of a woman walking on Woolsey Street near Ellis Street. The woman, who is 27, screamed for help and tried to hold on when the man grabbed for the purse, police said. There was a “brief struggle,” and the man ran off with the bag. Witnesses said the robber was black, 18-23 years old, wearing a white sweatshirt and dark jeans.
DON’T DO THIS WITH A STOLEN CAR Police arrested a Berkeley man Tuesday who double-parked what turned out to be a vehicle stolen from Phoenix, authorities report. A BPD officer was on patrol on Fourth Street at 6:15 p.m. when he watched a driver double park and go into the Apple store: “Since the vehicle had paper plates (no license plate), the officer had to use the vehicle’s identification number (VIN), to issue the citation.” During the records check, the officer found the car had been reported stolen. “The officer then waited patiently (along with a few other officers) for the man to exit the store — where he was subsequently arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.” Police identified the man as 40-year-old Keith Allen Wallace.
POLICE NAB PAIR OF AUTO BURGLARS BPD arrested two men Dec. 12 in connection with auto burglaries in the 2100 block of Ward Street at about 5:40 p.m. Officers watched the men park, then saw a passenger “get out and use a flashlight to look into several vehicles parked on the street. Officers detained the suspects nearby after they drove away. When officers contacted the suspects, they discovered gloves, flashlights, masks, a window punch (tool to break glass), and pieces of broken window glass inside the vehicle.” Police identified the passenger as 19-year-old Parrish Kendricks and the driver as 22-year-old Otis Andrews, both of Oakland. They were arrested on suspicion of attempted auto burglary, conspiracy to commit a felony and possession of burglary tools, BPD said.
SEX REGISTRANT WITH CHILD PORN Police arrested a 60-year-old homeless sex offender Saturday when they found him walking in Berkeley with an iPad containing images of nude children, authorities report. An officer recognized the man, Carl Bartlett Jones II, as he was walking on Bonita Avenue near Berkeley Way at 4 p.m. The officer knew Jones was a sex registrant with outstanding felony warrants for a failure to register, according to police. Jones was taken into custody on suspicion of possession of child pornography as well as two arrest warrants.
MAIL THEFT ARRESTS Police arrested two women just after a reported mail theft Monday night and said the pair had more than 100 pieces of mail with them from 10 different people. Just after 9:20 p.m., officers responded to the 1900 block of Haste Street for a resident who said someone had just pried open their mailbox and taken their mail. The resident gave a description, and police detained a woman nearby who matched it “just as she was about to drive away.” According to police, inside her vehicle, “officers located over 100 pieces of US Mail that belonged to more than 10 different victims.” Police arrested the woman, 43-year-old Iiesha Moore of Oakland, the the driver, 50-year-old Trena Wilson, who was listed as homeless. There were arrested on suspicion fo multiple identity-theft related crimes.