Tuesday September 27, 2005

Pigeon Drop 

Two women approached a Berkeley woman outside the Berkeley Bowl Wednesday and told her they’d found some cash, thus launching one of the oldest cons in the business—known as the Pigeon Drop. 

The con is complex in explanation but simple in execution, with the team of cons—who pretend not to know each other—inducing an elderly mark to put up temporary collateral to help the cons give some recently received cash to charity. 

The play involves the exchange “cash” wrapped either in handkerchiefs or sealed envelopes, and the mark winds up with a bundle which supposedly contains her own boodle but invariably turns out to be not valuable lucre but stacks of worthless paper. 

The duo escaped with their mark’s cash, and remain at large, said Officer Okies.  


Hot prowl 

A Berkeley man who lives near the corner of Ward and Fulton streets woke up Thursday morning to discover that he had been victimized by a hot prowl burglar—cop speak for one who burglarizes homes while the resident are sleeping. 

In this case, the felon had snuck through an open window and absconded with the sleeping victim’s wallet and laptop computer, said Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies. 



Berkeley police are looking for the volunteer for a local non-profit organization who made off with the group’s winnings from Gilman Street Bingo about 8 p.m. Thursday. 

Officer Okies said the volunteer walked out with what he would only describe as a “sizable amount” of cash collected in bingo games. Police are still seeking the suspect, who is wanted on suspicion of embezzlement. 


Masked bandit 

A man wearing a mask and dressed in dark clothing approached workers at Office Depot at 1025 Gilman Street early Friday morning and demanded cash. His demand satisfied, the fellow fled on foot. 


Glass slasher 

Emergency room personnel at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley called police after a man arrived with a slashed arm. 

Officer Okies said the 43-year-old fellow had been slashed with a piece of broken glass by a man he knew. No arrest has been made in the case. 


Arrest bonus 

Police serving an arrest warrant on a man in the 1900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way discovered an extra bonus—property stolen in an out-of-state crime, 

In addition to the charge on which he was already wanted, the arrestee now faces an additional count of possession of stolen property. 


Brave citizen 

Police rushed to the 2500 block of College Avenue at 4:15 Friday after a caller reported that a citizen was holding on to a suspected burglar. 

Officers arrived to find that the fellow had not only captured the criminal, but had relieved him of a pistol as well. 

The 23-year-old suspect was also found to be in possession stolen property and burglary tools as well as methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He was booked on suspicion of probation violation and for possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs.?