Tuesday August 16, 2005

Car clout rash 

The word this week is: Watch your cars! 

Berkeley car owners reported a rash of car clouts—copspeak for auto burglaries—jumping from three on Thursday to 16 Friday, nine Saturday, and 11 Sunday. 

“From time to time an individual or two or even a group will come through,” said Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies. 

“We always encourage people not to leave their valuables in their cars, especially not in plain view. We see quite a few computers and other valuables taken, and often when they’re left in plain sight,” said Okies. 

“We recommended that people make their cars the least inviting they can to burglars by parking in well-lit areas on well-traveled streets,” he said. 

Not all the pilferage fit the precise definition of burglary—which involves breaking and entering—because several drivers forgot to lock their vehicles, the number one no-no on Okies’ list. 


Urban Ore invader 

Berkeley officers responded to an alarm at Urban Ore just after 5 a.m. Thursday, arriving to find a trespasser on the property who tried to flee before officers could lay on the handcuffs. 

His flight arrested, officers conducted a quick search and turned up burglary tools, leading to the 47-year-old fugitive’s booking on suspicion of violating three separate sections of the California Penal Code. 


Juvenile busted 

Police arrested a 16-year-old Friday morning on suspicion of stealing cash from a residence near the corner of Harrison Street and San Pablo Avenue. 


Sprechen Sie “Stickup?” 

A caller told Berkeley that she and two others had been confronted by a would-be bandit employing the hand-in-the-pocket-I’ve-got-a-gun routine near the corner of Tenth and Grayson streets about 5 a.m. Thursday. 

There was just one problem. The would-be robber and would-be victims didn’t speak the same language. 

The frustrated bandit gave up in disgust. 


Whole Foods, missing tools 

A Thursday morning visitor to the Whole Foods market at 3000 Telegraph Ave. left with something more than healthy eats. 

Workers for Sutti Construction of Burlingame called police just after 11 a.m. to report that someone had swiped some of their tools. 

Police have no suspects, said Officer Okies. 


Kragen bandit 

A heavy-set fellow sporting a beard, a raffish fedora—yes, a fedora—and a black T-shirt emblazoned with “Peace” across the chest strolled into Kragen Auto Parts at 1950 Martin Luther King Way shortly before 9 a.m. Friday and acted in a decidedly non-pacific manner. 

Producing a pistol, he demanded the contents of the till and departed. 



A driver who stopped for a sign at the corner of Fifth and Delaware streets just after 11 p.m. Sunday found herself staring into the barrel of the pistol being wielded by one of two young men standing next to her car. 

Ordered to relinquish her keys and leave the vehicle, the driver wisely complied. The robbers took the car and fled.?