Five Armed Robberies in North Berkeley Under Investigation

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Friday December 10, 2010 - 04:10:00 PM

Berkeley Police are investigating a string of what detectives believe are connected armed robberies that have been occurring in North Berkeley since mid-November. In each of the five robberies, a suspect pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded their phones, wallets, and other valuable items, then fled on foot. All of the victims have described the suspect as a “black male, late teens to 30 years old with a thin build.” 

BPD is combating these robberies through internal communication and crime analysis, a strategy that Police Chief Michael Meehan has improved upon since he became chief almost a year ago. Police have also increased the number of personnel working on the case both on the streets and behind the scenes, increased community awareness of the problem, and collaborated with other police forces, including BART police, UC campus police, and Albany police. 

Communication between police and the community is key in enabling the police to solve cases like these. Berkeley police are hoping that citizens will call and report as many details as possible on robberies or on suspicious cars and individuals, and encourage people to employ crime prevention measures. Avoiding walking alone in the evenings and remaining aware by abstaining from using cell phones and music players helps to deter robbers. 

The latest robbery occurred this Monday at 7:25 pm on California and Virginia Streets. Other potentially connected robberies have occurred since November 13th at Virginia and Franklin Streets, Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Hearst Street, Hearst and California Streets, and Lincoln and California Streets. Three occurred in the evenings, one in the morning, and one in the late afternoon.