A 14-year-old Oakland girl was arrested after an attempted strong-arm robbery on Telegraph Avenue on Jan. 29. Around 6:45 p.m., the girl attempted to snatch a woman's purse off her shoulder. When the woman resisted, the girl threw her to the ground and kicked her repeatedly. Other pedestrians intervened, and one chased the girl for a distance down Dwight Way. The 14-year-old was arrested shortly thereafter by Berkeley Police.
Auto burglary at Berkeley Bowl
A woman's purse was stolen from the back seat of a car parked near the Berkeley Bowl on Jan. 30. The incident, which was recorded by Berkeley Bowl security cameras, took place around 5:36 p.m.. The suspect, a tall, heavy-set man between 30 and 40 years of age wearing a black long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans, shattered a window on the car, reached in and took the purse. Such crimes of opportunity are easily preventable by taking proper precautions. Citizens “need to make sure valuables are out of sight,” said BPD Officer Andrew Frankel.
A 26-year-old Berkeley man was arrested on the afternoon of Jan. 31 for stealing $10.50 worth of food from the Berkeley Bowl market. He was spotted by store employees when he walked out of the store with a bag full of groceries shortly before 1 p.m. He fled when confronted by store security and was detained by Berkeley police nearby.
A 44-year-old man was robbed of his backpack and wallet at gunpoint in West Berkeley on Saturday evening. The Berkeley resident was accosted around 10 p.m. by two male teenagers. One placed a handgun against his ribs and demanded his money. The two assailants walked the man twenty yards further down the street and fled north after the victim handed over his backpack and wallets. Police say strong-arm robberies are uncommon in the neighborhood.
A red 2001 Ford Crown Victoria belonging to an Oakland taxi company was stolen from the 2000 block of 10th Street on Saturday afternoon. The car, which belongs to Oakland Veterans Cab, was reported stolen around 1:30 p.m.
Berkeley police received multiple reports of identity theft last week. On Jan. 24, a woman had her purse stolen from a common area of her residence in the 2200 block of Cedar Street. The woman told officers that a number of unauthorized purchases had been made with her credit cards.
On Jan. 30, an Ordway Street woman informed police that someone had used her name to fraudulently open a credit card in her name with Bank of America and charged $5,000 to that account. The woman believes the ID theft occurred between Dec. 6 and Dec. 12, but is unsure how the perpetrator got hold of her personal information.
A Durant Avenue woman reported a third case of identity theft on Jan. 30, stating that she believes her new credit card was stolen from her mailbox. The card has been used multiple times since Jan. 27 to make online purchases. In two instances, $1,000 was withdrawn from the woman's savings account.
“Identity theft is a pretty regular occurrence,” said Officer Andrew Frankel. To avoid such instances, Frankel said, people should shred any documents with personal information before throwing them out, cut up all preapproved credit cards they don’t use and safeguard their personal belongings. “You’d be amazed at how much information you can get out of the trash about somebody,” Frankel said.
On Sunday evening, Berkeley police responded to a report of a hate crime at the Derby Market on College Avenue. Around 9:26 p.m., two men in their mid-20s were accosted inside the market by a man and a woman yelling anti-Jewish slurs at them. When one of the young men stepped outside to call the police, the man followed him outside, screamed in his ear to garble the call and threw him to the ground. The aggressor then punched the young man in the mouth while brandishing a 40-oz. bottle of liquor as a weapon. The suspects fled shortly thereafter. Berkeley Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.