Police Briefs

Wednesday October 24, 2001

The Berkeley Police Department believes that a series of recent robberies, all of which involved hold-ups of individuals at gunpoint, may be related. 

Lt. Cynthia Harris, the department’s chief of detectives, says that in five such robberies, which occurred between Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, the victims’ description of their assailants’ physical characteristics, dress and method of operation were similar enough for the police to conclude that the same individuals were responsible for the crimes. 

The first two cases, which occurred on Sept. 26 and 27, took place near the UC Berkeley campus. In each case, the victims were stopped by a black male wearing a black ski mask, shown a gun and were told to hand over their money. 

The three other cases took place on Sept. 28, Oct. 1 and Oct. 3, on or near the 3000 block of College Avenue. All these cases involved two black males, one of whom wore a black ski mask or scarf. 




Two vehicles – one motorcycle and one unidentified vehicle – were burned in an arson attack Friday night, according to Harris. 

Police were called to the corner of Allston Way and McKinley Avenue, two blocks from Berkeley’s police station, at around 11:30 p.m. They found the two vehicles aflame and called the Fire Department. BFD investigators determined that someone had intentionally set the vehicles on fire. 

Police interviewed several neighbors in the vicinity, but none were able to provide information. A suspect has not been identified. 




A man called the BPD early Friday morning to say that he had been attacked with a knife the night before, according to Harris. 

Police arrived at the victim’s West Berkeley home around 6:30 a.m., and were told that he had been attacked by an unknown assailant Thursday night. He said that the suspect had slashed through his T-shirt and wounded him in the chest. He showed the wound to the responding officers. 

The man was transported to a medical facility and given treatment for the wound. Police have opened an investigation. 





An employee of the Walgreens drug store at the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Gilman Street arrived at work early Thursday morning to discover that the front door had been pried open, according to Harris. 

When police arrived, they discovered that cigarettes had been stolen from the store.  

According to Harris, there is some question about whether the store’s alarm went off. 





The owner of a south Berkeley convenience store was the victim of a hate crime Sept. 16, according to Harris. 

At around 5:50 p.m., a man entered the market and began to shout at the owner of the store. The suspect described the victim as an “Afghan terrorist,” threw food picked off the shelves at the victim and fled in a brown Toyota Corolla. 

The suspect is an African American male, 39 or 40 years old, around six feet tall and weighing around 180 pounds. 


– Hank Sims