Friday January 27, 2006

Burglar nailed 

An early morning burglar alarm call from Model Shoe Renew at 1934 Shattuck Ave. on Jan. 11 ended with the arrest of a burglar who has since admitted pulling off more than 100 commercial burglaries—half of them in Berkeley—over the past eight months. 

Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Ed Galvan said that when police responded to the 3:30 a.m. alarm, they found the store’s front door glass had been shattered. 

Officers making a quick search of the surrounding area spotted a man looking into a trash container. 

When one of the officers approached the man—who they first thought was merely dumpster diving—to ask if he’d seen anyone suspicious in the area, the lawman noticed small slivers of glass on the man’s hat, jacket and gloves, Galvan said. 

A quick frisk turned up items stolen from the store, along with burglary tools. 

During a subsequent interview with a property crimes detective, the suspect—identified as Andrew Larry Austin, 56, of Berkeley—admitted to a long string of commercial burglaries. 

Most of the 50 or so Berkeley crimes targeted businesses in the downtown area, Galvan said. 


Purse snatched 

A 29-year-old woman walked into the police station lobby Sunday to report that she’d been robbed by a purse-snatcher 10 minutes earlier at the corner of Addison Way and Martin Luther King. Jr. Way. 

The suspect was described as a man in his early 20s. 


She said/she said 

Police were called to a neighborhood market and liquor store in the 1600 block of Ward Street early Sunday afternoon after a fracas broke out among a group of young women. 

Officer Galvan said that one of young women said another had hit her in the head with a Coke bottle, while the alleged bottle-basher said the alleged bashee had tried to run her down with a car. 

After listening to both disputants and some witnesses, officers elected to charge neither of the young women. 


Pink Flamingo crash 

A 29-year-old woman drove her car into a parked car in front of the Pink Flamingo motel in the 1700 block of University Avenue about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday. 

The woman sustained a head injury, and she was bleeding when officers arrived. Though she initially insisted on driving herself to and emergency room for treatment, she eventually accepted an ambulance ride. 


Posterior penetration 

Eight hours later, a 61-year-old man walked into the police station to report that he’d been stabbed in the buttock nine hours earlier in the 900 block of San Pablo Avenue. 

Paramedics were summoned, and, after a quick examination, they pronounced the wound as minor and not requiring hospitalization. 

The stabbing victim identified the suspect as a 56-year-old acquaintance. 

No arrest has been made, said Officer Galvan. 


Cell robbery 

A 26-year-old man called police Tuesday morning to report that a pair of juveniles had robbed him of his cell phone at 6:45 p.m. the day before in the 2800 block of California Street. 


Guard beaten 

Summoned by a caller who reported a group of men beating up someone in the Berkeley Bowl parking lot at 6:41 p.m. Tuesday, officers arrived to find a bleeding security guard and a 29-year-old suspect. 

The incident apparently began after the suspect was spotted shoplifting in the store, and the attack began outside when he was confronted by the guard. 

The suspect was booked on suspicion of robbery, burglary, battery, brandishing a deadly weapon and malicious damage to a motor vehicle. 


Botched robbery 

A team of teenage robbers, their faces concealed beneath their hoodies and brandishing a silver-colored semiautomatic pistol were unable to convince a clerk at the University Avenue Foster’s Freeze to part with the contents of the till at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

The duo was last seen fleeing westbound along the avenue, said Officer Galvan. 


And another 

A Berkeley woman suffered a minor cut to her knee as she resisted a young man in a black hoodie who’d tried to rob her of her backpack in the 1600 block of Virginia Street at 10:47 p.m. Tuesday. 


Robbery team 

A teenager clad in a white hoodie and packing a small caliber pistol robbed a 41-year-old woman of her wallet and its contents as she walked along the 1200 block of Carleton Street just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

The robber then leapt into a small Japanese car driven by his wheelman. ›