Police detained five juveniles, ages 11-15 years old, on suspicion of robbery after a report of a laptop grab on Fourth Street in West Berkeley on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
UPDATE: Police have also arrested the youth on suspicion of armed robbery in Walnut Creek on Monday
Many readers asked Berkeleyside about major police activity in West Berkeley, and later a helicopter overhead, beginning shortly after 2:20 p.m. Police initially declined to provide information citing the ongoing investigation but got in touch with Berkeleyside at about 4:10 p.m.
In the meantime, Berkeleyside reviewed emergency dispatch audio recordings to learn what officers were responding to and what they found.
BPD was initially alerted to the theft of a MacBook Pro laptop from a customer at Peet’s Coffee at 1776 Fourth St., according to scanner audio. The vehicle used in the grand theft had been taken during an armed carjacking Monday in Oakland, police said.
The thieves drove away from Peet’s in a white 2012 Toyota Camry, which police soon located on Cedar Street and chased through the city, down Sacramento Street, with their lights and sirens. The motorist at one point drove westbound in the eastbound lanes of University Avenue going 40 mph, according to scanner audio.
About 10 minutes after the grand theft, the driver collided with another vehicle and lost control, hitting a pedestrian sitting on a bench at San Pablo and University avenues, causing injuries, police said. Occupants from the vehicle then ran through the Wells Fargo parking lot and into the block, police said. Officers set up a perimeter in the area as they searched for the culprits.
Police ultimately detained a group of teenagers in the 1800 block of San Pablo Ave. Officers recovered a laptop during the investigation, according to scanner audio.
The pedestrian may have been taken to Highland Hospital for treatment, according to radio traffic.
Police detained five juveniles following identification by witnesses.
As of about 3:40 p.m., officers from the Oakland Police Department had responded to Berkeley to determine whether the vehicle from the grand theft was linked to the Oakland carjacking case.
BPD said other agencies were also working with Berkeley detectives to investigate possible links to other crimes.
BPD was initially unavailable to comment Tuesday but did release a Nixle alert at about 2:50 p.m. advising of “Police activity in area of San Pablo and University” and asking people to avoid the area.
As of 4 p.m., University and San Pablo remained closed to traffic pending a tow request from BPD.
This story was updated shortly after publication to include comments from BPD.