Police Blotter

Tuesday July 22, 2003


Juveniles detained in brazen North Berkeley robberies 


Police arrested four juveniles Sunday who may be responsible for a wave of brazen mid-day robberies in North Berkeley over the last three weeks, said Berkeley Police Department Sgt. Steve Odom. 

“We think we might have the people responsible for all of them,” he said. 

A group of three to four juveniles allegedly walked into unlocked homes at least 10 times in recent weeks, Odom said, snatching purses and other valuables when they could, and if spotted upon entry, offering to wash residents’ cars. 

Odom said one suspect has typically entered a home, with the others waiting on the street as lookouts. 

Police received a call at 8:26 Sunday night from a man on the 1400 block of Gilman Street reporting that he had seen a suspect reaching for a purse just inside his front door. 

“The suspect pulled his hand away from the purse and said, ‘Um, would you like your car washed?’” Odom said. 

Police responded quickly and arrested four juveniles—two 12-year-olds, a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old—nearby on the 1600 block of Stannage Avenue. Police released the suspects, all of them Berkeley residents, to their parents’ custody pending further investigation. 


Gunless hold-up? 


A man claiming to have a gun held up a woman on the 1900 block of Sixth Street Thursday night, said Berkeley Police Department Sgt. Steve Odom. 

The suspect, described as a 40- to 45-year-old man, stepped from behind a fence at about 7:56 p.m. and approached the woman, walking home with two young children. 

“I guess you don’t want to be my friend,” he said, according to police. 

“I just want to go home and make dinner,” she replied. 

“I bet you don’t think I have a gun,” he said. 

“I just want to go home and make dinner,” she repeated. 

“Give me your money or I’ll show you my gun,” he said again. 

The woman was frightened, Odom said, and gave him $45. Police have made no arrests in the case.