Page One

New: Family Hopes 15th Anniversary of Death of Man Killed in Berkeley Will Bring New Leads

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday December 16, 2013 - 11:08:00 PM

The brother of a San Lorenzo man who was deliberately run over by a suspect outside the family's business in Berkeley said today that he hopes the 15th anniversary of the crime will generate new leads in the unsolved case. 

Richard DeVecchi, 37, was struck by a car at about 7:15 a.m. on Dec. 17, 1998, in front of Berkeley Warehouse, Inc., a trucking and warehousing company located at 1920 Second St., about a block north of University Avenue. 

His brother, Randy DeVecchi, said, "Another year has gone by and there's another nothing" in unearthing information that will help police arrest the man who killed his brother. 

DeVecchi said, "Someone, somewhere, knows something about this crime and we need them to come forward and give us some peace." 

He added, "Police can only go off of the help they're getting because this is a cold case." 

DeVecchi said the day his brother, Richard, was killed, he went outside on Second Street after a fellow employee told him that there was a prowler near the bed of his pickup truck. 

After he exited the business, Richard was struck by an early 1980s white or tan Cadillac with a dark vinyl roof. The car then sped west on Hearst Avenue and then north to Interstate Highway 80. The license plate contained the letters "CUS," with blue characters on a white plate, according to Berkeley police. 

Randy DeVecchi said four witnesses who saw his brother get hit said the suspect had been driving slowly but then accelerated, hit Richard DeVecchi and kept going.  

DeVecchi said his brother was kept alive on a ventilator for several days but was declared brain dead on Dec. 21, 1998. The next day, his organs and tissues were donated. 

Richard DeVecchi is survived by his wife and two stepchildren. Randy DeVecchi said it's "baffling" that the driver and the car haven't been seen since the incident. 

He said, "Someone knows about that car and we need that someone to give us the help we need to close this case." 

The DeVecchi family is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver. Police describe him as a black male about 5 feet 11 inches tall and 185 pounds, with short black hair. 

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Berkeley Police Department's homicide division at (510) 981-5741.