Police Blotter

By Richard Brenneman
Friday November 17, 2006

Beating bandit sought 

Berkeley police want the public’s help in capturing a young robber who brutally assaulted a clerk at J & L Laundry & Cleaning on Oct. 23. 

According to spokesperson Officer Ed Galvan, the man entered the 2520 Shattuck Ave. store about 3 p.m. A woman was working in the front counter area, when the robber leapt over the counter, demanded cash and began beating her with his fists. 

The attack ended only when a customer walked in the door, prompting the attacker to flee south on Shattuck aboard a red bicycle. 

The woman was rushed to a local emergency room and hospitalized for the treatment of severe facial injuries. She has since been released, he said. 

Galvan also released a composite drawing of the suspect, who is described as an African American man between the ages of 19 and 22 who stands about 5’11” to 6’ tall and weighs about 250 pounds. 

His front teeth, both upper and lower, were silver colored, and he was wearing dark jeans and a green and white striped shirt. 

Officer Galvan asked anyone with information about the attack to call BPD Homicide investigators at 981-5741. 


Steals on wheels 

A teenage bandit on a mountain bike who ripped off purses and cellphones in the South Berkeley area over the course of several days may have ended his spree when a spunky victim resisted. 

The bandit, a youth between the ages of 13 and 15 who sports a shaved head and usually wore a white T-shirt, would ride up to victims on his red mountain bike and land a punch or a threat before making off with his loot. 

A bandit of that description stole a large purse from a 26-year-old San Francisco woman who was walking along Ashby Avenue near the Ellis Street intersection just before 7:30 p.m. on the day after the election. 

At 6:30 the following day, a cycle-mounted clouter rode up to a Berkeley woman walking along Shattuck Avenue near the corner of Parker Street, then punched her face before making off with her cell phone. 

The crime spree apparently came to end after the bicycling bandit encountered a Berkeley woman as she walked along Dwight Way near the corner of Ellsworth Street at midnight Saturday. 

“He rode up on his bike and tried to take her cell phone, but she grabbed it back and he rode off,” said Officer Galvan. 

But the fellow followed the woman to the next traffic light, where he was spotted by his would-be victim. 

“You tried to take my phone,” she said. 

“Don’t you know you’re supposed to give it to me,” he said. 

She didn’t, and with that he sped off. He hasn’t been heard from since, said Officer Galvan. 


Busted bandit 

Police arrested a 16-year-old Berkeley youth after he lingered too long following his strong-arm robbery of a 22 year old man in the 2200 block of San Pablo Avenue just before noon Nov. 7.  


Repeat offender 

Another serial heister, this one wearing a green hoodie and packing a silver colored pistol, didn’t fare as well as the bicycling bandit. 

His first reported robbery took place shortly before 12:30 a.m. on the 8th. He robbed a woman in her 60s of her cell phone as she was walking near the corner of Domingo and Oakvale avenues, said Officer Galvan. 

His caper complete, he hopped into a nearby car and sped off. 

His next and final caper followed at 2 o’clock the next morning when he robbed two UC Berkeley students of their backpacks and valuables near the corner of Channing Way and Bowditch Street. 

An alert university employee spotted the fellow near Top Dog and alerted police, who stopped to question him. Backtracking, officers found the missing backpacks, along with some clothing he’d discarded along the way. 

Police booked the 25-year-old suspect, a Berkeley man, on suspicion of multiple counts of armed robbery. 

Between the biking bandit and the busted pistolero, the city had experienced a spike in robberies, said Officer Galvan. 

“Things have calmed down since,” he said. 




A pair of teenage bandits, one wearing a peacoat, robbed a 15-year-old of his iPod and cash after they confronted him just before 5 p.m. Nov. 9 as he walked along Ninth Street near the corner of Bancroft Way. 



Police took a Berkeley teen into custody on suspicion of assault after her brother made a citizen’s arrest shortly before 9 p.m. on the 9th, said Officer Galvan. 

The young man was cut by broken glass after his sibling bashed him over the head with a picture frame. 


Pipe assault 

Police arrested a 27-year-old Oakland man on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after he and a companion attacked a 20-year-old woman with a metal pipe near the corner of Haste Street and Telegraph Avenue at 11 p.m. on the 9th, said Officer Galvan. 

After the attack, the two men fled toward People’s Park, and patrol officers were able to apprehend one of the suspects moments later. 


Shot, silent 

An alert citizen called police called police about 7:15 p.m. on the 9th to report that he’d just seen someone in a car who looked like he’d been shot. 

Officers called surrounding jurisdictions to see if they’d turned up anyone with a gunshot, but came up dry. Eventually they found the fellow in the 1900 block of Harrison Street, with a jacket wrapped around the bleeding wound in his leg. 

At first the 40-year-old victim refused to talk, asking only for help from paramedics. He later allowed that he’d been shot by a fellow wearing a white hoodie, though just where he was at the time he wasn’t quite sure. 

“He thinks it was in Oakland,” said Officer Galvan. 


Hapless heister 

A 20-year-old Berkeley woman used her cell phone to call police at 5:30 Sunday afternoon to report that a young fellow had just attempted to swipe the device as she was walking along the 2400 block of Ellsworth Street. 

Unfortunately for the would-be bandit, the call was quick enough to summon officers to the scene in time to find him nearby. The 17-year-old was given a ride to Juvenile Hall, where he was successful in copping another kind of cell.