A 62-year-old janitor with a lengthy criminal history has been charged with home-invasion robbery and three home burglaries that took place in North Berkeley over the past two months, court records show.
Freddie Worthman of Oakland was released on parole in 2019 after serving a 20-year sentence for a 1999 case in which he had been sentenced to 40 years to life, according to court papers. He is being held without bail and was charged Monday by the Alameda County district attorney’s office. If convicted in the new case, it would be Worthman’s third strike, according to court papers. Police wrote that he confessed to all four incidents.
The first crime took place Nov. 22 in the 1700 block of Lincoln Street (near McGee Avenue) at 1:30 p.m., according to records online. Police wrote in court papers that Worthman climbed through an open window into a woman’s home, put her in a headlock and demanded her money. The woman tried to fight Worthman, police wrote, but he “tightened his grip” on her, not allowing her to breathe. He ultimately took her money and fled, authorities said. The woman required treatment at a local hospital.
Police also linked Worthman to one home burglary — through an open glass door — Dec. 4 in the 1500 block of Grant Street (near Vine Street) at 10:35 a.m., and another Jan. 22 in the 1600 block of Milvia Street (near Cedar Street) at 8 a.m. In that incident, police wrote in court documents, he broke a window to get inside.
Police arrested Worthman the next day when he climbed into a woman’s home through an open window, according to police. The woman “had surveillance video of the burglary in progress and notified the police.” Officers responded and arrested Worthman at the scene, in the 1700 block of Milvia Street (near Virginia Street) just after 2:40 p.m.
Police wrote that Worthman “confessed to all of the above listed cases” after he had been advised of his Miranda rights to remain silent. Berkeley detectives said they also found “evidence further linking Worthman” to the cases.
Worthman, who is on parole through 2022, has been charged with seven felonies, according to court papers: home-invasion robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery, criminal threats and home burglary in connection with the November case, and home burglary in connection with each of the other cases.
Police wrote that Worthman “has been arrested no less than 20 times since 1974” on suspicion of crimes including rape by threat, armed robbery, assault with a firearm, assault with intent to commit robbery and more. He was placed on parole in 2019 after a burglary conviction, according to court papers.
Alameda County Superior Court records list his first adult conviction as 1976 — when Worthman was 18 — for a home burglary in San Francisco. He was sent to prison.
In 1983, he was convicted of six felonies in the same Alameda County case, for three counts each of robbery and burglary where someone was present. That also sent him to prison, according to court documents.
In 1987 he was sent to prison again after a conviction for attempted robbery, and again in 2000 for burglary, both in Alameda County.
Worthman remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and is scheduled to enter a plea in the case Feb. 11, according to court records online. He is also set for a parole revocation hearing at that time.
Worthman’s booking photo was not immediately available due to the ongoing investigation, said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesman.
Correction: This story originally identified Worthman as a Berkeley resident but he lives in Oakland. This story has been corrected.