Arson At Apartment Complex
Police arrested a man who they say set fire to his apartment in a 1275 University Ave. building late Friday night. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze and other tenants were unharmed.
According to building manager D.J. Johnson a tenant found the suspected arsonist in the front lobby about 11:30 p.m. Friday standing over a recycling bin he had set ablaze. The tenant put out the fire with help from neighbors while the arsonist raced out of the building. Moments later the fire alarm rang. Police and firefighters went to the suspected arsonist’s room and finding the door hot, they opened the door to find the unit in flames. Ordered to evacuate the building, tenants huddled outside from about 11:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. while firefighters inspected the building. Police did not reply to messages seeking the identity of the arsonist.
Video Store Armed Robbery
Police are seeking the gunman who robbed a video store on the 2900 block of College Avenue Thursday afternoon. According to police the robber picked up a Snickers bar from the shelf, then looked around for a short time. He asked the clerk on which side of the counter he should stand, and after the clerk said he was fine where he was, the robber placed the chocolate bar on the counter, walked behind to where the clerk was standing and lifted up his shirt to show the grip of a pistol in his waistband. When he demanded money, the clerk handed him “a wad of one dollar bills and a handful of fives.” The robber took the cash and walked casually out of the store. He remains at-large.
Hit and Runs
An intoxicated 19-year old resident of the 3000 block of Stanton Street took his gold Toyota Camry on a hit-and-run rampage through several blocks of South Berkeley Tuesday afternoon, police said.
The first car he hit was a 1990 Acura Integra on the 2000 block of Essex Street. Fleeing the scene, he slammed into two more cars—a maroon Datsun at the intersection of Ashby Avenue and Harper Street and a Toyota at Ashby and King Street. A pregnant woman who was sitting in the Toyota at the time of the impact was rushed to Alta Bates Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released.
At the intersection of Harper and Russell Street, a pedestrian reported nearly being “plowed down” by a gold Toyota. A witness got the license plate and police tracked it down to the Stanton Street address. The driver, who refused a breathalyzer test, was charged with several felony and misdemeanor drunk driving and hit and run charges.
A gunman robbed a 68-year-old resident of the 1000 block of Overlook Drive at her house Thursday night. According to police the woman was driving home southbound on Marin Avenue and noticed a car following her. Arriving at her home, she had swung her purse over her arm when she saw a man walking toward her. He raised his left hand, brandished a dark-colored handgun and demanded her purse as he dragged her into her garage, the gun aimed at her face. Once inside the garage, he yanked the purse from her arm and proceeded to run south on Overlook. The purse contained approximately $400. Police have made no arrests in the case.
North Oakland Murder
A 26-year-old Oakland man was fatally shot at 3:50 a.m. Monday morning at 63rd and Baker streets in Oakland, just outside Berkeley city limits. According to police, the wounded victim drove his car two more blocks before striking a fence outside Golden Gate Elementary School at 63rd and Herzog streets. Police found James Mahoney Knox Sr. inside the car and pronounced him dead at the scene. Police have no suspects in the murder.