Berkeley/Oakland Turf Battles Renewed?
Berkeley and Oakland police are investigating a volley of gunfire that erupted in South Berkeley early last Saturday morning near the intersection of Adeline and Fairview streets, which they suspect may be a renewal of the turf wars between drug gangs that resulted in considerable violence last year.
BPD spokesperson Kevin Schofield said several residents called police at 12:24 a.m. Saturday after hearing gunfire and seeing several people fleeing the scene.
“Numerous BPD officers responded,” Schofield said. “They found one car that had been damaged by gunshots, but no indications that anyone was hit. We have very little to go on—no victims, no suspects. It could be a renewal of the turf war. We have investigators looking into it, and if they find it to be they case, they’ll decide what steps to take next.”
In an e-mail to concerned citizens, Oakland P.D. Lt. Lawrence Green confirmed that the drug turf war appears to be heating up, adding two Monday incidents to list of engagements. “North Oakland drug dealers from 59th and Adeline went to the area of Prince and Russell and beat a South Berkeley drug dealer. Two hours later, Berkeley drug dealers went to 59th and Adeline and engaged North Oakland drug dealers in a running gun battle.”
No one was injured in the exchange of gunfire, and Oakland Police immediately intensified enforcement efforts in the area, Green wrote.
Drug Task Force Makes Crack Bust
Several hours before the Saturday morning possible turf war shooting, officers of the BPD Drug Task Force noticed an increase in suspicious activity several blocks away in the 1200 block of 67th Street. Maintaining surveillance, they moved in after witnessing a suspected sale, arresting both the buyer and seller.
Discovering that the alleged seller was on parole for a previous drug violation, officers searched his nearby residence, turning up more than 50 pieces of rock cocaine.
“He was arrested for sale, possession for sale and probation and parole violations,” Schofield said.
Apprehensive Bank Robber Sought
Berkeley Police are seeking the flustered, would-be bank robber who made an unsuccessful try to rob a branch bank in the 2900 block of College Avenue on March 22. When the bandit handed a demand note to a teller, the stunned bank employee froze, and after a few tense seconds, the robber absconded without a dime.
Releasing a grainy photo of the suspect captured by bank security cameras, Berkeley Robbery Detective Chris Stines said, “We know that someone out there knows this guy. We hope the community will contact us to identify this person so we can solve the case and prevent him from committing any more bank robberies.”
Police described the suspect as an African American man, about five-and-a-half-feet tall and weighing about 170 pounds. They estimate his age at between 23 and 28.
Anyone with information on the suspect should call the BPD robbery detail at 981-5742 or write to email@example.com.