Friday December 30, 2005

Takes smokes 

A young strongarm stick-up artist hit Kahn’s Smog Pros at the corner of Shattuck and Ashby avenues late in the afternoon of Dec. 19 and made off with cash and cigarettes, said Officer Shira Warren, the Berkeley Police Department’s acting public information officer. 


Botched heist 

Less than a half hour later, four teenagers tried to rob a fifth outside Cancun Taqueria in the 2100 block of Allston Way, but the would-be victim escaped, his belongings intact. 


Wallet robber 

It was just minutes before midnight on the 19th when a 21-year-old woman walking in the 2500 block of College Avenue was confronted a strongarm heister who forced her to surrender her wallet. 


Booth burner 

Berkeley firefighters and police were summoned to the 1700 block of Scenic Avenue just after 9 a.m. on the 20th and discovered that an arsonist had set fire to a phone booth. 

The unknown fire-starter had already departed the scene by the time they arrived. 


Another botch 

A strongarm bandit made an unsuccessful attempt to rob a 19-year-old man of his belongings in the 2200 block of Piedmont Avenue about 10:15 p.m. on the 20th. 


Inept assassin? 

Berkeley police arrested a 21-year-old man following a 2:50 p.m. shooting on the 21st. 

According to Sgt. Steve Odom, the man had appeared with the shotgun at the door of a residence in the 1900 block of Ninth Street, where he allegedly confronted the 23-year-old occupant about a theft. 

During the ensuing argument, the suspect pulled a sawed-off shotgun from his pant leg, accidentally firing off a round and shooting himself in the foot. 

Odom said the wounded fellow reloaded and fired another round at the departing resident, striking him with pellets in both legs. 

The shooter did more damage to himself than to his victim and is being held on suspicion of attempted murder. 


Armed booster 

When the manager of the San Pablo Avenue Walgreen’s spotted a shoplifter in the act at 3 p.m. on the 21st, she confronted the 20-something booster—who promptly produced a shiv which she brandished at the manager before hot-footing it out of the drug store. 


Armed robbery 

Three men, one armed with a pistol, approached a man near the railroad tracks on Third Street shortly after 5 p.m. last Friday and demanded his wallet. The fellow complied and the satisfied trio departed. 


Brick bashing 

A 44-year-old man told Berkeley police that a man in his 40s had bashed him in the face with a brick sometime before 2:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve in the 2700 block of San Pablo Avenue. 


Foiled robbery 

When a bandit in his late teens or early 20s tried to rob another young man in a parking garage in the 2400 block of Durant Avenue at 7:12 a.m. Christmas Eve, the victim saved his possessions and person by the simple expedient of sprinting away. 


Passport stolen 

One hour later, another young strongarm robber relieved a man of clothing and a passport near the Ashby BART station. 


Unknown attacker 

A 46-year-old man arrived at the Summit Alta Bates emergency room on Ashby Avenue shortly before 11 a.m. Christmas Eve for treatment of a neck wound. 

When he told nurses that someone had hit him with an unknown object, police were summoned, though the injured man was unable to offer any information about his unknown assailant, said Officer Warren. 


Criminal holiday 

Christmas and the day following proved singularly uneventful for Berkeley police, with no reports of robberies or other violent crimes. 

The next crime of note came late Tuesday morning, when a young woman reported that another young woman had poked her with a manicure tool. Her injuries were minor. 


Trike heist 

Two men robbed a 28-year-old man of his adult tricycle and a boombox as he pedaled along the 2200 block of Shattuck Avenue just before 8 p.m. Wednesday. 

The prompt arrival of Berkeley’s finest resulted in the recovery of three-wheeler and sound system and the arrest of two suspects, one 29 and the other 18.