A local man has been charged with a mini-crime spree in Berkeley in June involving two armed robberies and a separate vehicle theft, according to authorities and court papers.
On Thursday morning, Berkeley robbery detectives made a second arrest in the case as well. Available details of that arrest, which took place in Oakland, have been limited because the suspect was a juvenile at the time of the crimes, BPD told Berkeleyside.
The investigation dates back to June 21, according to court papers reviewed by Berkeleyside. That day, three people with a gun robbed a 59-year-old Richmond woman at Adeline and Woolsey streets in South Berkeley just after 3:10 p.m.
Two days later, on June 23, two people with a gun robbed a 55-year-old Berkeley woman in the 1300 block of Milvia Street near Berryman Street in North Berkeley just before 2:30 p.m.
Minutes later, they stole an unlocked or unattended 2022 Toyota Camry from the 1800 block of Rose Street about five blocks away, according to police. (The car was recovered the next day in the 1500 block of Fourth Street.)
Through their investigation, police identified 18-year-old Jamarion Ellis of Berkeley as a primary suspect in the case.
The Alameda County district attorney’s office later charged Ellis with two counts of armed robbery and one count of vehicle theft, all three of which are felonies.
According to court papers, authorities also allege that the manner in which the robberies were carried out “indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism.” If found true, Ellis may ultimately face a stiffer sentence.
Ellis has not previously been charged as an adult in Alameda County, according to available court records online, but he has prior arrests related to the “negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm in public, possession of an extended magazine, and possessing/receiving stolen property,” according to court papers filed by police.
As of this week, he remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin with a bail of $320,000. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 5, 2022.
There have been at least 153 robberies in Berkeley over the past six months, according to CrimeMapping.com.
For many years, the city consistently averaged about a robbery a day (this has fallen since the start of the pandemic). Only a fraction of those robberies generally involve guns or other weapons.
Featured photo: The Berkeley police department, February 2022. Credit: Kelly Sullivan