Berkeley police station (file photo). Photo: Kaia Diringer

Police arrested a 28-year-old Berkeley man early Saturday morning and found a loaded, stolen gun with an illegal high-capacity magazine in his vehicle, authorities report.

A Berkeley police officer made the arrest after seeing the man “driving recklessly” near Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue in South Berkeley just after 3:40 a.m., said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesman. The officer was “eventually able” to stop the driver in the 2800 block of Acton Street, about five blocks away.

The officer “discovered that the driver was intoxicated and had a suspended license,” White said. During a vehicle search, he found the loaded gun and high-capacity magazine.

Police learned through further investigation that the gun had been reported to San Mateo police as having been stolen.

Police arrested the driver, Ryan Romero, on suspicion of reckless driving, driving on suspended license, driving under the influence, possession of a loaded, concealed firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm and evading the police.

Romero remains at Berkeley Jail where he is being held on $318,000 bail. He is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday morning at Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

Berkeley sees first gunfire of 2019

The officer spotted Romero about an hour after gunfire was heard Saturday morning about a half-mile away from that crime scene.

Police have not said the cases are linked.

Just after 2:20 a.m., officers responded to King and 62nd streets after getting reports of gunfire in the area. Police found bullet casings in the 1600 block of 62nd, but found no victims, White said.

It was the first of two gunfire calls in the neighborhood over the weekend.

Sunday shortly before 9 p.m., officers responded to San Pablo Park after receiving reports of gunfire nearby. Officers found bullet casings at the park but, again, there were no reported injuries.

White said there have been no other reports of gunfire in Berkeley thus far in 2019.

Investigations into all three incidents are ongoing, he said.

Police ask anyone with information about these incidents to call BPD’s Homicide Detail at 510-981-5741.

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...